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Lost Palm Desert Man Found In Anza Wilderness

A 51-year-old Palm Desert man lost over the weekend in the Anza wilderness was found safe and in good condition, authorities said.

Friends and family reported Michael Salotti missing Saturday just before 8 p.m., according to Deputy Javier Rodriguez with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Salotti, who owns All Pro Pizza Inc. and coaches the Palm Desert High School wrestling team, was on a deer hunting trip near Highway 371 in Anza when he went missing, Rodriguez said.

A sheriff’s rescue team immediately began a search, but had to call it off at midnight because of darkness and cold weather.

The area is in the mountains about 30 to 35 miles from Palm Desert.

Officials believe Salotti was separated from his group as they crested a ridge. Family members and friends as well as the sheriff’s search and rescue team, which included a bloodhound and helicopter, searched for Salotti until he was found just before 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Rodriguez said.

“He did the smart thing and rather than wandering, stayed put,” according to Rodriguez, who noted Salotti apparently became “disoriented.”

Salotti, who was wearing warm clothing, did not need medical attention when he was found, Rodriguez said.

KESQ News Team

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