Forest Falls missing hiker found dead

FOREST FALLS, Calif. "It didn't come out the way we wanted to but Tony did what he loved the most and we're okay with that," said Normand Jacquet, the hiker's father.

Tony Jacquet left for a hike last Monday alongside his dog, Scamper. Scamper returned the next day without his owner, so a neighbor filed a missing persons report.

The search for Jacquet grew each day toward the weekend.

Authorities got a call from another hiker who said he remembered seeing Jacquet on Monday. He didn't think anything of it at the time. However, when he saw the picture on the news, the hiker called authorities and led searchers to the last place he had seen Jacquet.

Search and Rescue says Jacquet was found about a 1/2-mile from the top of Big Falls, which is a steep, dangerous and untraveled area. Rescue crews had spent most of their time looking down at the bottom of the canyon, a place where they say people are much more likely to hike.

Throughout the area, there are signs telling hikers not to go off alone, as Jacquet did.

"Absolutely critical. If you're going to go hike out in the wilderness, regardless of how your knowledge is and your abilities, it's always safer to go in pairs," said Jodi Miller, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

However, the solitude of the quiet canyon is one of the main draws.

"I've been doing that all my life, you know. I consider myself a very experienced hiker. And even though they're going to tell you 'Don't hike by yourself,' they can't really stop you," said Craig Fortune, Forest Falls resident.

Fortune says Jacquet probably died doing what he loved to do.

"He was happy to find this place, moving here from L.A. He was really overjoyed to find a place where he could find some happiness," said Fortune.

Jacquet's cause of death is still under investigation.


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