NewsCovering Kern County


Search underway for man missing in Kern River since June

Sixteenth search for Juan Torrez
Posted at 7:48 AM, Jan 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-27 14:12:29-05

Search and Rescue crews along with dozens of volunteers spent Saturday searching for a Bakersfield man who has still not been found after going missing in the Kern River last summer.

Juan Torrez of east Bakersfield was swept away while swimming with friends on June 3, 2017 near Lake Ming. 

At 7:30 a.m., nearly 70 volunteers met at Panorama Drive near Mt. Vernon Avenue for one more massive search.

RELATED: 14 dead, one still missing after busiest year in Kern River history

Before Saturday's search, volunteers have spent more than 1100 hours looking for Torrez's body in fifteen different searches. If his body is found, Torrez would be the fifteenth person to have gone missing in the Kern River in 2017.

RELATED: The Kern River - An Inside Look

Crews covered a 12-mile stretch of the Kern River from Hart Park to the Golden State Avenue Bridge, scouring the water for any remains. 

Around 90 people were originally expected for the search for Torrez, but some crews were diverted to the mouth of the canyon on Highway 178 after a kayaker spotted a body face down in the river Friday afternoon. Search and Rescue crews postponed the recovery until Saturday morning due to darkness.