California Hiker Oscar Hernandez Found Dead at Griffith Park With His Dog Alive and by His Side: Report

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, a hiker named Oscar Hernandez was found dead in a California park next to his dog, King, after going missing 16 days ago. When authorities arrived at the scene, the hiker’s pet was alive and laying by his side.

Oscar Alejandro Hernandez, a 29-year-old hiker, was last seen on March 16 in Griffith Park in Los Angeles near the Merry-Go-Round hiking trails at around 2:30 in the morning. His family issued a missing persons flyer, imploring the public to report any sightings of the young outdoorsman, Daily Mail reports.

“We are appealing to the general public to kindly help us find our missing family member,” the flyer said. “If you have any information that could help us find him, kindly report is to the nearest police, or contact his family.”

The call finally came in at 7:15 pm on Thursday. After searching the densely forested park, the Los Angeles Fire Department located Hernandez and King near Fern Canyon Trail. According to a firefighter on the scene, they found Hernandez “a good hike up from the park’s merry-go-round.”

King, Hernandez’s dog, stayed by his owner’s side for weeks, long after his death. Thankfully, the dog finally went home with Hernandez’s family.

Police moved Hernandez’s body to a remote baseball field. From there, it was collected to be examined by the coroner. The hiker’s cause of death, however, remains unknown.

Another California Hiker Found Dead Following Apparent Suicide

Sadly, Oscar Hernandez isn’t the only dead hiker to be discovered in a California park this year. In March, the Placer Country Sheriff’s Office found the body of missing hiker Kerina Blue near Green Valley Trail in Alta.

When Blue’s family reported her missing, she received an “at-risk” label. This classification came due to an unspecified medical condition. With no time to waste, close to 100 search and rescue personnel, K9 units, and helicopters combed the “very rugged and densely forested” area for two days hoping to find Blue alive.

Though they were successful in locating the missing woman, 26-year-old Kerina Blue was no longer living. Authorities did not release an official cause of death. However, they did report that they did not suspect foul play. Blue’s family later revealed that she suffered from depression and likely took her own life.