Benny Kwan returned to the San Bernardino Mountains on Thursday, April 7, hoping his 27-year-old son, Derrick, would reappear as suddenly as he disappeared nearly two weeks ago.
“If so, I will be so happy,” Kwan said as family and friends gathered at Goodwin’s Market in Crestline to resume their search. “I pray to God every day that he comes to his senses and comes out of the forest or someone’s house. I just want him to come home.
Derrick Kwan was last seen by his family on March 26 at their home in Diamond Bar. Surveillance video showed him exiting the front door wearing a black t-shirt and shorts and carrying a bottle of water. Kwan drove off in a silver SUV. He apparently didn’t tell anyone where he was heading.
The next day, March 27, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said, a California Highway Patrol officer saw two people change a tire at a switch on Highway 138. About 40 minutes later, the officer learned of a single vehicle accident west of Crestline. Cutoff road at Crestline. This vehicle was one of two he saw in the attendance and was registered to Derrick Kwan.
The officer identified Kwan as one of the people he saw in the gathering. Witnesses to the crash said a man matching Kwan’s description fled, carrying large bags, according to the sheriff’s press release. The officer couldn’t find Kwan.
Kwan had been reported missing to the LA County Sheriff’s Department on March 28. Deputies at the San Bernardino County Twin Peaks station received the report on March 31 and began a search. Members of the Rim of the World search and rescue team searched the area on April 3, a search that was suspended due to weather conditions. It resumed on April 5.
MPs and volunteers also circulated a photo of Kwan. However, he is still missing.
Kwan is studying space engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, said David Chiang, a longtime friend who attended Diamond Bar High with him. Kwan loves martial arts and wrestling and is an experienced hiker and climber.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew the area well,” Chiang said on Thursday.
Benny Kwan said he wondered if his son had been spooked by the crash and ran away.
Kwan is considered a “voluntarily missing” person by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, spokeswoman Mara Rodriguez said.
“We continue to follow up on all leads we receive and have continued the search for Mr. Kwan. We… will do everything we can to locate him and reunite him safely with his family and friends,” Rodriguez said.
Benny Kwan said he was heartened that strangers joined in the search.
“The residents of Crestline and Arrowhead are so kind. They are wonderful, beautiful people up there,” he said.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about Kwan’s whereabouts to call the Twin Peaks station at 909-336-0600.