THE parents of a Cork man missing in the US since April are flying to California today to join a massive search effort for the 26-year-old.
David O’Sullivan from Midleton disappeared while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail on the US west coast.
David was fit and healthy when he set off for the hike on March 20. He had studied English in UCC and was inspired to take the epic hike after reading the book Wild last year.
“We had concerns, of course we had concerns,” he father Con O’Sullivan said. “But he had hiked before a lot in Ireland. He is fit, disciplined and he’s a black-belt in karate. He was a good steady lad.” Dozens of volunteers will be joining the search, including expert hikers and members of the Irish expat community in San Diego. It starts on Saturday and will be a massive operation in an area about the size of Cork county.
His father said the family hoped the search would provide answers after eight months of worry and waiting.
“It just has to be done, we are hoping to find him. We want to find him alive but there have been no sightings of him for eight months. And we have had that conversation.” The last contact from David was an email to his family on April 7 detailing his hike so far. His family raised the alarm about a week later and a missing person alert was subsequently issued in California. Despite several searches of the trail involving specialist search teams, there has been no sign of David. The search will focus in and around the area in which he was last seen
Friends of the O’Sullivan, have launched a fund to help the family cover some of the costs associated with the search - the IBAN is IE04 BOFI 9027 0963 2988 36.