Hoover stated that Vega was hiking with Saylor Guilliams (22 years old), of Ventura around 4 p.m. on Sunday. Guilliams was also known by Saylor Lipkins.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, a Ventura man was found deceased on Montecito’s Cold Spring Trail Monday. His female hiking companion was also found dead in the area.
Vega was rescued by Search & Rescue Team and Sheriff’s Deputies.
Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, said that two sets of hikers located the couple within hours. Brenden Michael Veva, 22 years old, of Ventura was the hiker whose body turned up on Monday morning.
Hoover stated Tuesday that the hikers were on a late afternoon hike, and were not prepared for the conditions. “The light from their phones was not sufficient to illuminate their path and the hikers fell several times and were injured.”
Hoover stated that Vega had severely injured his arm and Guilliams sustained two broken ankles as well as a broken wrist.
Hoover claimed that Vega shouted for help for many hours before leaving Guilliams to seek help. Despite having at least one cell phone, there was no reception in the remote area below Tangerine Falls in Los Padres National Forest, about 2 1/2 miles from the East Mountain Drive trailhead.
Authorities say that the hikers who discovered the victims on Monday had to leave the area in order to locate a signal. Vega fell 20-30 feet from a rocky ledge while trying to reach help as he traveled down the trail.
A couple was hiking along the Cold Spring Trail and called 9-1-1 to report that they had seen a body about 10 to 15 feet from the trail. Hoover reported that his body was found at the bottom of an embankment, in a heavily wooded area.
Guilliams, a hiker in serious condition, called Search & Rescue Team at 4 p.m. as Search & Rescue Team members had finished transporting Vega out of the area.
Hoover stated that this was just after Search Rescue Team members had completed extricating and transporting Vega. Guilliams unconscious in a hidden area near the base 100-foot Tangerine Falls.
Statement to Vega’s family when he was identified.
Batrez stated that Saylor’s family would like to send condolences and support to Saylor’s mother and other loved ones. “He died saving Saylor’s life. He was a true hero.”
Felicia Batrez, a longtime friend of Felicia’s family, said that she was gone for 22 hours. “We believe that she was hurt out there all night.”
Guilliams’ relatives released a brief statement to Noozhawk Monday night: “At the moment we would like to thank Santa Barbara Search & Rescue as well as the Sheriff’s Department, for all their hard work and help.” Thank you also to the Samaritans for calling it in.
Villapiano stated that Nicole Gergen, his girlfriend, is a doctor. He talked to Guilliams in order to help her forget about her condition.
He said that they were initially a bit nervous when Guilliams was first seen. “But she sounded like pain so we did what we could,” he added. Villapiano saw later that authorities were lifting Vega from the area, and finally learned that he had died.