SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS—On February 11, the body of 22-year-old Lifei Huang, of El Monte, was recovered after being reported missing February 4. Reports indicate that the deceased was airlifted from the vicinity of the San Antonio Creek Falls after someone flying a drone discovered her body.

She was reportedly hiking Mount Baldy when a winter storm hit the mountain range, and torrential rains devastated the communities below.

Mt. Baldy is in the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains. This is the mountain range that is visible from Los Angeles.

The following update was posted on Nixle by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department:

“February 11, 2024 – On February 10, 2024, at approximately 3:25 p.m., the U.S. Forestry Department notified Sheriff’s Dispatch that a citizen flying a drone may have spotted missing hiker, Lifei Huang. Deputies and search and rescue team members responded to the upper San Antonio Creek Falls area but were unable to hike to the spot where Ms. Huang was believed to be, due to the conditions on the mountain. Sherriff’s aviation crews were unable to perform an aerial search due to high winds. Search and rescue team members stayed the night near the location to preserve the scene.

On February 11, 2024, at approximately 7:45 a.m., Sheriff’s Air Rescue 306 hoisted medics down to the location, where they located Ms. Huang deceased. Ms. Huang and the medics were then airlifted off the mountain.

We would like to thank all our personnel and volunteers that aided in the search, as well as the citizen that alerted U.S. Forestry.”

A running summary was kept on Nixle with daily updates given from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s office.

The initial report was made on Sunday, February 4, at 11:14 p.m. by the Fontana Sheriff’s Station who received a call regarding the missing hiker who set out on the hike alone at approximately 2:00 p.m. Huang had not been heard from since 4:00 p.m.

On Monday, February 5, 2024, at approximately 2:30 p.m. the Sheriff’s West Valley Search and Rescue Crew arrived and began their search.

Search and rescue teams continued their search on Tuesday, February 6 until crews were pulled off the mountain due to the heavy snow and risks of avalanche. Rescue personnel remained at the trail head until they were able to resume their search.

The following warning was posted with the updates:

“The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department strongly urges everyone to stay away and refrain from mountain activities during this inclement weather. The weather has effectively buried the mountain in snow and it is highly likely hikers will get into trouble. Resources are stretched to their limits and hikers who get lost may have to wait long periods of time before help is available.”

According to social media accounts of friends and family, Lifei Huang, or “Ada” to those who knew and loved her was a beloved daughter and sister and loved the outdoors. Huang was reported as somewhat of an inexperienced hiker, who was known to take risky hikes in the past.