Remains of missing Irvine hiker found on Mount Baldy months after disappearance

The remains have been found and identified of an Irvine man who went missing after going hiking on Mount Baldy last December.
MOUNT BALDY, Calif. (KABC) -- The remains have been found and identified of an Irvine man who went missing after going hiking on Mount Baldy last December.

Sreenivas "Sree" Mokkapati, 52, became separated when hiking with three other people on Dec. 8, 2019. His friends alerted authorities once they returned to their car.

At the time he was described as an experienced hiker, but had only prepared and packed for a day hike, not staying overnight in snow.

Rescue crews consisting of 126 members working in 23 teams searched the mountain for days amid conditions so dangerous that one volunteer died during the search before it was eventually called off. Some crews came from as far away as the Central Valley and Northern California.

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While the ground search was called off within a week of his disappearance, aerial surveys of the area continued through the winter. Ground crews returned in May after the snow began to melt.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says two hikers found Mokkapati's remains June 19 on the northwest side of Mount Baldy, near the top of Fish Fork at 7,800 feet elevation. The county medical examiner confirmed the identity of the remains on Saturday.
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