Concern over Cork man (25) on five-month US hike

David O’Sullivan’s family have not heard from Pacific Crest Trail hiker since April

David O'Sullivan (25) from Midleton, Cork

David O'Sullivan (25) from Midleton, Cork


Police in the United States are appealing for information about an Irishman who travelled to California for a lengthy hiking trip but has not been in contact with relatives since April.

David O’Sullivan (25) left Ireland on March 20th for the five-month hiking trip from California to the Canadian border.

A missing persons report was issue by police in Murrieta in southern California after his family reported his case to the authorities on June 30th.

Mr O’Sullivan is from Midleton, Co Cork and previously studied at University College Cork.

The last contact between him and his family in Ireland was on April 7th, when he sent an email home while he was in the mountain town of Idylwild.

He was scheduled to meet a friend in Santa Barbara in early May but did not show up. His friends and family in Ireland then became concerned for his safety.

Mr O’Sullivan was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Campo in San Diego county, near the Mexican border, across California, Oregon and Washington state to the Canadian border.

His brother Niall O’Sullivan said David was a novice hiker, and was taking care to avoid alpine conditions and areas with heavy snow. His mobile phone does not have a data plan, and he was using Wifi in towns along the trail to maintain contact with his family and friends.

Bank account

In a statement appealing for information about his brother’s whereabouts Niall O’Sullivan said: “On May 31st we went to police in Ireland. Inquiries were made which led us to believe that his bank account was recently active. While not happy, this satisfied us that he was okay, spending money on food etc, and that he was simply unable to charge his tablet or get Wifi access.”

Niall said initially the family had received several reports of people seeing David, which turned out to be cases of mistaken identity.

“He was even ‘found’ a few times, even to the point where we rang hostels to speak with ‘him’. None of these sightings were him,” he said. “He has been reported as a missing person with the Irish police, the American and Irish embassies, Interpol, and police departments and rescue departments throughout California”.

An Irish outreach group in San Diego have appealed for Irish people at home and those living or travelling in the Western area of the United States to share David’s picture and information online.

Stephen Aherne of the San Diego Irish community group said “we are asking for helping spreading the word” about David.

David is interested in politics and is an active member of the Labour Party.

The California police have said anyone who may have seen David O’Sullivan along the Northbound hiking trail, or in the California area should contact the Murrieta police department.