Human remains discovered in Joshua Tree confirmed to be missing hiker

Trammell Evans/NPS Joshua Tree

Authorities discovered human skeletal remains near a hiking trail in Joshua Tree on Jan. 25 that have since been identified as 25-year-old Trammell Evans, who went missing while hiking last April. 

Park staff said they were led to the remains when park researchers found an unattended backpack along the trail near the Black Rock Area of the park.

Officials identified the belongings located near the remains Tuesday as Evans' possessions. Evans was last seen when he was dropped off at the Black Rock Campground on April 30, 2023. 

The park initiated a search and rescue for Evans when he did not show up for his scheduled pickup on May 5, 2023.

According to loved ones, Evans had planned to hike from Black Rock to Geology Tour Road, then back to Black Rock via the California Riding and Hiking Trial.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Experienced hiker missing at Joshua Tree National Park

Authorities described Evans as "athletic" and an "experienced long-distance hiker" who knew his way around Joshua Tree.

Evans did not register for a backcountry use permit, the park service said. Park rangers contacted all 55 people who had backcountry permits in the area as part of their search efforts for Evans.


The Riverside County Sheriff's Office has not yet released a cause of death. The investigation remains ongoing.

Authorities ask anyone with any additional information to contact Palm Desert Sheriff Station 760- 836-1600 or call anonymously at 760-341-7867 and reference incident # O240250071.