Big Bear Valley, CA — An excursion to Holcomb Valley to collect firewood resulted in some panic—and the use of Sheriff’s search helicopters—yesterday. At 11am Monday morning, a 24-year-old Big Bear City man took his 18-month-old son to pick up a friend in Erwin Lake, and headed to Holcomb Valley. When the child’s mother returned home to find her boyfriend and baby were still gone, she called the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in the 9 o’clock hour, prompting an extensive, Valley-wide search by Big Bear Sheriff’s Station deputies, and the dispatch of Sheriff’s search helicopters, which could be heard flying over the Erwin Lake area in the 10pm hour last night, as well as the San Bernardino National Forest. The two men and the toddler were gone all night, and remained unaccounted for until they walked into the Fawnskin Fire Station in the 6am hour this morning. Per statements made to the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station, while in Holcomb Valley, the trio had rolled their vehicle and walked to Fawnskin; once there, firefighters from San Bernardino County Fire Station #49 in Fawnskin drove the trio to the hospital just before 7am. All three, including the 18-month-old boy, checked out OK and the far-flung field trip did not result in any injuries or arrests. The child was reunited with his mother this morning.
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