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Exclusive: Family of missing hiker in Joshua Tree National Park speaks out as search continues

Tuesday marks one month since 25-year-old Trammell Evans was last seen hiking in Joshua Tree National Park.

On April 30th, Evans was dropped off at the Black Rock Campground by a friend. The park started a search and rescue on May 5th for Evans after he was reported as overdue. 

“I hate not hearing from him. The fact that I haven't heard from him for a month just kills me," said Amy Evans, Trammell's mother.

Amy told News Channel 3's Samantha Lomibao that Trammell lives and breathes hiking.

Trammell Evans

His brother, Charlie Evans, says it’s unlike him to get lost anywhere.

“He's very experienced hiker. Like he's done so much hiking, so so much hiking. Honestly, more hiking than most people would want to do in their lifetime. He does it in like a month," Charlie said. "He's done so much walking around in wilderness and he planned his trip really thoroughly.

Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park was where Trammell was dropped off for his hiking trip. His family tells us the route he was planning to take was one he had already done before.

“He's done that exact route before. And he never showed up," Charlie said.

An extensive search for Trammell began immediately. Joshua Tree National Park rangers took several routes to find him, including helicopter missions and Marine Corps drones and cadaver dog search teams.

Joshua Tree National Park

One month later, there’s still no trace of him being there.

His family describes him as an adventurer and free spirit.

“Tram has cultivated this lifestyle where it's really hard to find him. And, this is the way that he's lived for the last two and a half to three years," Charlie said. "He's very adept at hitchhiking, that's something that hikers like him will do. It's like a skill that they that they work on, you know, because he had hitchhiked literally hundreds of times."

“He used to always check in by text or phone like once a week because he knew that I always wanted to hear from him," said his mother, Amy.

They believe Trammell is still out there, but not inside the park. His family saying it’s possible he could’ve left.

“I am pretty steadfast in my belief that he left the park. And he's just going through something for some reason. That is keeping him from contacting us," Charlie explained.

“He may be going through some kind of life crisis right now. And if that's the case, maybe that's why he's not calling," Amy added.

While they are still picking up the pieces to what may have happened, they just want to know Trammell is safe.

“Just that tram. Like, we love you. We we just want you back in our lives. Our lives are so much better when you are in our lives. And I mean, we're it would just be great to see you again," said Charlie.

Trammell's family has started an Instagram account, @findtram, with updates about him.

On Tuesday, park rangers said the search and rescue is now at a limited and continuous phase. They will still be doing daily searches.

Park rangers are asking anyone who may have seen or talked to Trammell Evans to please contact 909-383-5652.

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


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