Major search continues for missing Ventura hiker in Santa Barbara County

The search for a Ventura man missing after hiking the Trespass Trail near Gaviota on Sunday afternoon continued through Labor Day, with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office taking the lead on day three operations.

Tim Sgrignoli | Credit: Courtesy of Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Tim Sgrignoli, 29, was hiking with his girlfriend in 110+ degree heat on Sunday when the couple split after Sgrignoli allegedly left to seek help for his partner, who was suffering from exhaustion by heat. He reportedly left his own cell phone to his girlfriend.

Santa Barbara County fire crews began an extensive search, and Sgrignoli’s girlfriend was located and rescued by helicopter. Search dogs, drones, all-terrain vehicles, law enforcement and more than 60 emergency personnel continued to search for Sgrignoli, but as of Tuesday morning he had still not been found.

Authorities say Sgrignoli may have been spotted near Highways 101 and 1 near Gaviota Pass; he was wearing shorts and no shirt. On Monday, live scent dogs and cadaver dogs were brought to the area by UTV to help with the search.

On Monday afternoon, county fire department spokesman Capt. Scott Safechuck announced the sheriff’s office would take command until Tuesday.

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Brandon D. James