Captain Matthew Kraft was 24 years old when he went missing from the Independence area of Inyo County around 4th March 2019. Captain Kraft was a Lieutenant when he went missing but was posthumously promoted by the Marine Corps after being declared dead. Captain Kraft, a skilled U.S Marine set out on a solo ski and hike trip on February 24 2019 with an itinerary to complete the 195-mile Sierra High Route. Lt Kraft was 6’1, 185 Ibs. At the time Lt. Matthew Kraft went missing he was thought to have Oakley sunglasses, a Petzl headlamp, a Kwikpoint sleeping system, a Katadyn water filtration system, an Otter iPhone case, Scarpa T1 ski boots, and a shadow-grey Osprey backpack rain cover in his possession.
Captain Matthew Kraft Missing
Captain Kraft was a platoon leader with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines at Twentynine Palms, California. On February 24, 2019, he set off on a ten-day trip with a plan to hike a 195-mile route starting in the Inyo Forest near Lone Pine. Captain Kraft expected to complete the trip over ten days and arrive at Bridgeport, California on March 4th or March 5th 2019. Captain Kraft never arrived and he was never been heard from again. On March 4th, Captain Kraft’s father reported his son as missing to Mono County Sheriff. On the 5th March 2019, The Mono County Sheriff department started trying to ping Captain Kraft’s cell phone and the last known location was the Independence area. The Sheriff’s department started checking trailheads and other locations searching for any clues as to where Captain Kraft might be. On March 8th a grey 2016 Jeep Wrangler which Lt Kraft has rented was found near Grays Meadows campground above Independence.
Search & Rescue
Search and rescue searched for Captain Kraft for two weeks utilizing ground searches, dogs and helicopters with FLIR but nothing has ever been found. At the time Captain Kraft vanished there was reported heavy snow in the area. During the search it was noted there had been indications of avalanches and searchers used RECCO technology. This is a system used to detect people trapped under snow and other debits. On the 15th March 2019, the search for Matthew Kraft was ended.
At first, it looks like Matthew was caught in an avalanche but warmer temperatures didn’t give up Captain Kraft’s body. He was carrying a lot of equipment and he was a Marine. You can bet your life he had everything he needed to survive in even the most extreme conditions. That means something quick happened to Captain Kraft. Something so fast he didn’t have time to react. An avalanche would do this but he would have been found by now or at least some of his equipment, but there has been nothing. A Kwikpoint sleeping system is designed for the Military to keep soldiers warm and dry in extreme conditions. He should have been able to survive in this. Everything I read turns my brain to an Avalanche but my gut doesn’t want to subscribe to this.