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SBSD - Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department
Wednesday December 28th, 2022 :: 02:06 p.m. PST


Missing Dirt Bike Rider Located During Search and Rescue Effort by First Responders and Citizens

DATE/TIME: December 26, 2022 / 10:00 a.m.

INCIDENT: Missing Person/Search and Rescue

LOCATION: 5800 block of Paradise Avenue, Morongo Valley, CA

VICTIM(S): Nathan Otto, 56-year-old male, resident of Palm Desert

SUMMARY: On December 26, 2022, at 3:39 p.m., deputies from the Morongo Basin Station responded to a report of a missing male. Nathan Otto was last seen earlier in the day at a friend's residence in the 5800 block of Paradise Avenue, in Morongo Valley. Otto left the residence at approximately 10:00 a.m. to ride his dirt bike. Otto rode his dirt bike in the area often and was familiar with the area. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's Aviation Division, California Highway Patrol Aviation Division, and patrol deputies searched the area into the night but were unable to locate Otto. 

On December 27, 2022, the search continued with 40 Search and Rescue members from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The Search and Rescue team utilized hikers, trackers, and various off-highway vehicles to assist. The Morongo Valley Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, and Bureau of Land Management, as well as concerned community members in the area, assisted with the search for Otto. At approximately 5:20 p.m., a concerned civilian located Otto, who was suffering from significant, life-threatening injuries from crashing his dirt bike. 

Due to the rugged terrain and Otto's injuries, a Sheriff's Aviation Division helicopter hoisted paramedics down to Otto and immediately began life-saving efforts. Deputies and Search and Rescue team members were guided into the area and assisted the paramedics. Despite high winds and incoming rain, Otto and the paramedics were hoisted into the helicopter. Once safely in the helicopter, Otto was transported to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs for continued medical treatment.  

Refer: Detective Tyler A. Bengard

Station: Morongo Basin Station

Phone No. (760) 366-4175

Case No. 092202116 and 092202123

SHANNON D. DICUS, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD - Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department
63665 Twentynine Palms Highway
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Emergency: 9-1-1

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