Cheryl, et al,
I thought that there would be more comments on this incident. Anyway about it, here's a message from Morley Hardaker in Davis, CA, who goes down to the mud caves quite often:
"Yes , I know that area ... Been to those caves! also Scott Schmitz knows them better than I do. There are about 20 mapped caves there that appeared some years ago.I think in the Cal Caver.
Anyway, to answer your question: The park people tired to keep them secret, but some San Diego outing group found out about and published them in their adventure papers. Only one (Big Mud Cave.) is noted in any park publications or park books by Diana & Lowell Lindsey These are all mud caves and are capable of collapse or mud fall! E-ticket cave is one of the longest ones and is very mazey !This fellow could be trapped by possible mud slide or slipped off of a cliff into one of the many canyons (Crevices) that are also in the area. Running away doesn't sound reasonable ...Why? Those arroyos all look the same out there,so he could just be lost! Who in his right mind would run barefoot out there? Let me know if you hear anything more!"
From the news articles that I've read, and to answer some thoughts on this missing guy, he wasn't by himself, but with others. They had gone into a cave and he stayed on top to enjoy the view and the day. From what I gathered, when they came back out, he wasn't around, so...go figure! He just didn't vanish, unless of course, you believe in UFOs gobbling him up. He possibly went exploring somewhat and there might have been a collapse of the area. What I can't figure out is why the SAR K-9 haven't found something on him. They're usually pretty good on finding a scent of one, in a case like this. Of course, if they were walking all over the place, before they notified the authorities, then the place was contaminated and that would make it much more difficult.
That's all I know for now, except that several cavers from San Diego Grotto and probably Southern California Grotto, are involved in this mystery, and I hope they find a solution and an answer for his family. It doesn't look good, though, unless he has an air pocket of hope with him, similar to an avalanche. 'Tis nasty!