By Jake Lee Green
Kern Valley Sun
An 11-year-old girl was pulled into the current of the Kern River in the Keyesville area on June 22, 2019. At the time the river flow was roughly four thousand cubic feet per second. Countless hours had been spent attempting to recover her body for the past five and a half months. Kern Valley Search and Rescue (KV-SAR) have had ongoing and continuous operations for recovery, however, the search for the girl’s remains have been unsuccessful in part due to an unusually high river flow for the season.
Volunteers for KV-SAR have spent three thousand man-hours between June 22 and November 1, 2019, on various searches along the Kern River. A decision to search along the first six miles of the child’s disappearance was made impart by experiences from similar searches in the area by KV-SAR personnel. Although, largely concentrated within that six miles, teams were dispatched as far as Delonegha Bridge area.
As the river calmed to a flow of 350 cubic feet per second, more relative to its past seasonal behavior, personnel from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office pulled resources together for a final effort to recover the body.
Approximately 60 volunteers from several Kern County SAR groups gathered on November 23 to help. Cadaver dogs and their handlers from the California Rescue Dog Associations (CARDA) were arranged to be made available for the search by the Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the Office of Emergency Services. Despite the mutual aid made available, efforts from the search yielded no body.