Hayden Klemenok GoFundMe raises more than 25,000 as family search for missing Yosemite National Park hiker

Hayden Klemenok (Image via GoFundMe)
Hayden Klemenok (Image via GoFundMe)

San Diego State graduate Hayden Klemenok has reportedly been missing for days after being swept away by swift waters in California’s Yosemite National Park. Hayden Klemenok, 24, was on an annual hiking trip with eight college friends, and they all were backpacking at Upper Chilnualna Falls on July 2, 2023. On the trail, Klemenok reportedly got down on all fours to dunk his head, when he was swept away by the strong currents.

Authorities, alongside friends and family, have been tirelessly trying to track down the missing hiker for days to no avail. As the search for Klemenok rages on, his mother’s coworker created a GoFundMe to render financial support to his parents. His parents were supposedly taking time off work while they try to find their missing son.

The fundraiser, which has raised over 25,000, surpassing the target amount of 20,000, said:

“My name is Connie and my dearest friend and coworker, Michelle has received the devastating news that her son, Hayden has gone missing at Yosemite National Park on Sunday 7/2 at approximately 2 pm.”

The page added:

“Michelle and family are currently taking time off work to look for Hayden. This fund is meant to help ease the pain of the costs of all the expenses and struggles they are currently facing.”

Hayden Klemenok worked as a financial analyst at PorchLight Realty in San Diego

Hayden Klemenok, who graduated from San Diego State University in April 2023, was described as a fiercely bright person who worked as a financial analyst at PorchLight Realty.

Hayden Klemenok was reportedly wearing a tan, brimmed hat, white sunglasses, a red t-shirt, blue swimming trunks, and white Adidas shoes when he disappeared in the swift waters of Chilnualna Falls.

As reported earlier, Klemenok was on an annual hiking trip with eight friends when the tragic incident unfolded on July 2. Klemenok’s dad Kevin Klemenok told NBC 7 that his son’s friends, who were witnesses to his disappearance, raced after the hiker after he was caught up in the swift waters. However, they failed to catch up with Klemenok, who was swiftly pulled away by the strong currents.

In a Facebook post, Yosemite National Park appealed to anyone who may have information leading to his whereabouts to contact them.

The national park requested people hiking off-trail in the area of Upper Chilnualna Falls on or after July 2 to reach out to them as any information was considered pertinent in their search for the missing person.

"Simply knowing where you went and when you were there may help us focus the search, whether you saw anyone or not."

On Tuesday, July 4, the park on its website warned visitors to stay away from rivers and creeks due to the flooding.

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Edited by Anushree Madappa
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