Matthew Charles Kraft

Kraft, circa 2019

  • Missing Since 02/23/2019
  • Missing From Mono County, California
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 08/23/1994 (25)
  • Age 24 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'1, 185 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description Carrying 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-gray Osprey backpack rain cover.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Kraft, an infantry Marine and platoon leader with the 1st Battalion/7th Marines at Twentynine Palms, California, began a backcountry skiing/hiking trip along the Sierra High Route on February 24, 2019. His 195-mile route began in the Inyo Forest near Lone Pine. He expected to complete the trip over ten days and arrive at Bridgeport, California on March 4 or March 5. He never did, however, and has never been heard from again.

On March 8, Kraft's rented gray 2016 Jeep Wrangler was found near Grays Meadows campground above Independence. An extensive search turned up no sign of Kraft himself, and the search ended on March 15. The Marine Corps listed him as dead from being "overcome by severe winter storms", and posthumously promoted him to the rank of Captain. He disappeared shortly before he was supposed to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Kraft attended the Kent School in Connecticut and then the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina. An avid mountaineer, he had hiked forty peaks in New Hampshire's White Mountains, hiked the Cohos Trail from New Hampshire to Canada in two weeks, and planned to hike the Appalachian Trail. He is presumed to have died in a mishap in the wilderness, but his body has never been located.

Investigating Agency

  • Mono County Sheriff's Office 760-932-7549
  • Inyo County Sheriff's Office 760-878-0383, option
  • Fresno County Sheriff's Office 559-600-8400

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 28, 2020; casefile added.