Bill Ewasko found?

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue Mar 08, 2022 3:26 pm

Ed wrote:
Ric Capucho wrote:Easy to forget after all these years of smart phones that built-in cameras were rare back in 2010.


Mine had a camera. I think they were common in flip-top phones by 2010. Not that I ever used it. A real photographer would probably have carried a separate camera.
My old flip phone had a camera, most of them did, but it was pretty crappy; nothing like what today's phones are like. Very small, very low resolution. If you wanted reasonably good photos back then, you pretty much needed to carry a camera.

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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby catherinewheel8 » Mon Mar 14, 2022 5:24 pm

I'm a longtime lurker from out of the area, a mapaholic, and have been following for several years, both here and at otherhand.org. I created an account to say thank you to everyone here for your efforts - physical, mental, and emotional to bring Bill home. If one of my loved ones (avid hikers all) ever goes missing, I'm calling you.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby Ric Capucho » Mon Mar 14, 2022 11:22 pm

Thinking this through a little longer, I think it’s unlikely Bill would have risked wasting his phone battery by taking snaps along his way. Avid photographer or not.

I could be very wrong on this point, but prior to any accident I’d think his priority would be to conserve battery so he could call in his safe return to Mary on the way to Pappy and Harriet’s. After any accident, his phone battery was one of the major lifelines to rescue; if he could only just get some damn signal.

Returns me back to thinking he had a proper camera in that daypack. Plenty of battery in that for all manner of photos until the chip gets full.

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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Apr 06, 2022 6:00 pm

Have there been any further updates on Bill? Has the corner's report been released?

Ric Capucho wrote:I think it’s unlikely Bill would have risked wasting his phone battery by taking snaps along his way. Avid photographer or not. I could be very wrong on this point, but prior to any accident I’d think his priority would be to conserve battery so he could call in his safe return to Mary on the way to Pappy and Harriet’s. After any accident, his phone battery was one of the major lifelines to rescue; if he could only just get some damn signal.
Phones back then had a pretty crappy camera. If he liked photography at all, then he'd have had a real camera.

Ric Capucho wrote:Returns me back to thinking he had a proper camera in that daypack. Plenty of battery in that for all manner of photos until the chip gets full.
Yeah, plenty of battery, but once he realized that he was in trouble, he wouldn't be snapping a lot of photos. Being in mortal danger tends to rivet one's attention. The question is: At what point did he realize that he was in trouble? I suspect that he went XC west to Smith Water Canyon. Crossing the area between Quail Mtn. and Smith Water probably wouldn't register as an "oh, sh*t" moment. If it had, then he'd have simply aborted and returned to his car. I think the "oh, sh*t" moment had to occur somewhere on the eastern slope of Smith Water. At some point he got far enough down that he didn't want to climb up to return to his car but at the same time knew it was going to be a real ordeal to get all the way down. His camera, if it survived, might have photos up to and including the edge of Smith Water. Thereafter, when it finally dawned on him that he was in deep doo doo, I doubt he'd have taken any photos unless he perhaps recorded a final farewell as he reached his final resting place. Just having photos to the edge of Smith Water would, however, be pretty much enough to validate the theory that he XC'd to the west and descended into Smith Water Canyon, exiting into Quail Wash, and somehow then getting to the point where he was found.

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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby RichardK » Thu Apr 07, 2022 6:50 am

I can't help but think that, somewhere in his hike, Bill was no longer compos mentis.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby jdclifford » Sun Apr 10, 2022 2:18 pm

I think you are absolutely correct, Richard. My personal belief is that Tom was right in theorizing that he had headed toward SWC in the belief that there was water. Can staying put down in the canyon (where there was ample shade relative to other areas) in the belief that a hiker would come across him account for all of the days between setting off on the hike and the phone ping? I'm confident that Bill, in his right mind, would recognize where Park Road existed in relation to where he was. The one exception to this might be if he didn't enter JTNP from the town of Joshua Tree, but it also seems a bit questionable that he would not have noticed the road prior to hitting SWC. It would have taken somebody wildly thinking outside of the box to find him with intention. He wasn't found anywhere the lay hiker in JT would be hiking, but I am still surprised it took nearly 12 years for somebody to stumble upon him. All along, he was about a mile from the main road in one of the busiest of the national parks in the US.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby Ric Capucho » Wed Apr 13, 2022 9:37 am

Hi JD, Richard,

Hope you’re both safe and well.

I think it’s now a fact that Bill entered through the Joshua Tree / Western Entrance, as the police had footage of him in a JT grocery that very morning.

After all these years of empathising and over empathising in an attempt to figure out his mindset, it’s indeed easy to forget that Bill likely sat it out for two whole days. I’m assuming the crisis happened towards the end of Thursday perhaps triggered by the onset of sunset or whatever injury he likely had. That meant Friday and Saturday waiting it out alone.

If were to wait it out, I’d have made every effort to getting myself next to a trail first in the hope of a passing hiker. Which I’m guessing he likely did by descending what I assume was the eastern end of SWC. Then where did he sit it out? One of the trails around Quail Springs?

So yes, anything up to two days waiting in vain for a hiker or searchers. Poor bastard. Sunday morning he gave up and made an incredible attempt to self rescue.

Partly in response to Richard’s ideas, I’ve also long suspected Bill wasn’t fully in mental control, but to be honest (forgive me, anyone close to Bill who’s reading this) I thought such a “mental event” had occurred very early on; perhaps that very injury. But I think a Bill sitting it out for two days and then making a break for the Park Road (conjecture, I know) shows he had his faculties at least up to that Sunday morning ping. All on the assumption that the ping happened somewhere in Quail Springs.

Takes discipline, waiting it out. Take faculties to make a decision to move. So not a Bill aimlessly wandering around the park that I’ve imagined.

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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby wbrokob » Mon Apr 25, 2022 1:55 pm

I was one of the group that discovered the remains. I am curious whether anyone has heard anything on a positive ID of the remains. Hard to imagine any other outcome , but it is weird that there was lots of press for a week, followed by crickets.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby wbrokob » Mon Apr 25, 2022 4:39 pm

Spoke to the homicide Sgt. on the case. He was one of the officers we spoke with after we located the remains. Apparently they did positively identify the remains via dental and DNA. He said they notified the media but apparently closing the case is not news
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby bretpct » Thu Apr 28, 2022 9:09 pm

wbrokob wrote:Spoke to the homicide Sgt. on the case. He was one of the officers we spoke with after we located the remains. Apparently they did positively identify the remains via dental and DNA. He said they notified the media but apparently closing the case is not news


Thank you for that update wbrokob. I've been checking the SBSD coroner and headquarters press release pages just about everyday and have not seen anything regarding Ewasko.
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