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Monday, February 26, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024

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Bestseller details cases of 3 hikers last seen on Pacific Crest Trail


YAKIMA — A new book dives into the details behind the disappearance of three Pacific Crest Trail hikers, including a 34-year-old from Ohio last seen near White Pass in October 2016.

Author and former National Park Service ranger Andrea Lankford’s “Trail of the Lost: The Relentless Search to Bring Home the Missing Hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail” explores the efforts to find Chris Sylvia, David O’Sullivan and Kris Fowler. The book has been on the New York Times nonfiction bestsellers list this fall.

Fowler had completed more than 2,000 miles of the trail stretching from the Mexico-California border to Canada before he went missing in this area. Lankford relies heavily on interviews with Fowler’s stepmom, Sally Guyton Fowler, and tireless volunteer searcher Cathy Tarr.

“It definitely brings a light to the cases and the people that are missing,” Tarr said. “I’m very impressed and happy that she took years to write the book and that it was accurate.”

Searchers have continued to look for Fowler, and missing-person signs are still posted along the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington.

The book also mentions the efforts of retired Yakima County Sgt. Randy Briscoe, who helped organize a massive, multiple county search following a delayed response from authorities that frustrated Fowler’s family. Lankford describes how Briscoe’s persistence eventually earned the family’s respect, and the book also mentions the contributions of Kittitas County search and rescue coordinator Ellis Nale.

Guyton Fowler said she hopes the attention from the book will lead to someone coming forward with more information that enables her to finally find out what happened to Kris.

Lankford served with the park service’s law enforcement team and led search and rescue missions from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon. After she left, she thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, kayaked from Miami to Key West and mountain biked the 800-mile Arizona Trail.