Search continues for Gaviota Peak hiker

September 8, 2022

Tim Sgrignoli


The search for a hiker who went missing near Gaviota Peak during intense heat on Sunday is still ongoing nearly five days later. [KCOY]

Tim Sgrignoli, 29, of Ventura went missing after his girlfriend showed signs of heat exhaustion on the way down Trespass Trail from Gaviota Peak. Sgrignoli, who had hiked the trail before, left her to get help and water. He gave his girlfriend the phone they were sharing on the trail and pinged her location to a phone they left in their car at the trailhead.

Sgrignoli’s girlfriend used the phone he left her to call for help. At about 2 p.m., a Santa Barbara County helicopter airlifted her off the mountain. Crews hoisted her to safety before realizing Sgrignoli was missing.

Initially, officials said Sgrignoli may have been picked up and given a ride. A passerby reported possibly seeing Sgrignoli walking south on northbound Highway 101.

Sheriff’s Commander Erik Raney said the the Santa Barbara County Volunteer Search and Rescue Team is conducting an all-out search for Sgrignoli, with assistance from other jurisdictions that have sent search and rescue teams. Authorities still hope to find Sgrignoli alive.

Dianne Sgrignoli-Cullimore, Sgrignoli’s mother, put out a call for help on social media. Dozens of volunteers, including relatives and friends of Sgrignoli, have since joined the search.

Sgrignoli moved to California from Florida with his girlfriend. Sgrignoli was a high school valedictorian, and he attended the University of Florida, his mother said.

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A waste of a young life..very sad.

I see he was found between Tresspass Trail and 101. He obviously decided the straight line to 101 was a better choice than following the trail back down. But looking at a terrain map, it seems like it’s downhill all the way, and not too long a distance. Seems like he could have made it. Although heat exhaustion can do terrible things to you.

I also don’t understand why he didn’t stay with his girlfriend when he knew the helicopter had been dispatched?

He must have been a self-reliant young man that figured he didn’t need a copter ride to end his hike. So sad.

A very unfortunate update posted this afternoon :( RIP young man.

Been there once. Sketchy spot imo. A few seedy looking properties surrounding as well … not the type of houses you want to knock on the door. I’d start there :/