Search continues for missing hiker near Gaviota Peak

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office set up a command post near the Gaviota Peak trailhead when 29-year-old Tim Sgrignoli of Ventura went missing Sunday afternoon in extreme heat.

They are still looking for him.

Search and rescue teams said when his girlfriend showed signs of heat exhaustion they called for help and Sgrignoli gave her the phone they shared during the test and pinged another phone they left in their car at the trailhead.

He had hiked this trail before and they had already reached the top where there is an ocean view.

They were coming downstairs when she let him know she wasn’t feeling well.

He found a shady spot near a cave and left him some water and headed to the trail for more water.

She was hoisted to safety around 2 p.m. Sunday, but Sgrignoli has yet to show up.

His family, including his mother Dianne Sgrignoli-Cullimore of Florida, appealed for help on social media and dozens of volunteers joined the search, but the trail that includes Trespass Trail is closed to other hikers.

His mother told Local 10 News (ABC) in Florida that he went to the University of Florida after graduating major from Pompano High.

He moved to California with his girlfriend and they found accommodation in Ventura.

Sheriff Cmdr. Erik Raney said, “This is a total search by our Santa Barbara County volunteer search and rescue team as well as other jurisdictions who have sent their search and rescue teams.”

They are still useful, he can be found alive.

“We have the family and friends of our missing hiker here supporting our search efforts and we truly hope that all of these exhaustive search efforts yield positive results.”

The trail is rated as difficult but not expert.

It includes steep areas without much shade.

“The full loop trail up Fire Road and down Trespass Trail is definitely not for the faint of heart.”

Search teams that included dogs from the Nationals Disaster Search Dog Foundation on the first day had to take more breaks due to the heat wave.

Cmdt. Raney said the volunteers take time off with their own lives to help and are committed to finding missing hikers.

Some of the area’s newest search and rescue volunteers are assisting in the search.

Those interested in training to become a volunteer can find out more at www.sbcsar.net.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said it will post updates on the search on social media.

Brandon D. James