Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 3:45 am | Fair 39º


Coroner’s Office Confirms Identity of 1 of 2 Missing Santa Barbara Men

Daniel Carbonaro died with friend Chris Rice during an ATV ride in the Mojave Desert

The Kern County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the identity of one of two bodies found last week in the Mojave Desert as 27-year-old Daniel Carbonaro of Santa Barbara.

Carbonaro’s next of kin has been notified. The other body has not yet been positively identified but is believed to be 29-year-old Chris Rice of Santa Barbara.

Carbonaro and Rice had been missing since Dec. 18 in the desert area near the border of San Bernardino and Kern counties after leaving the Cottage Inn Motel in Randsburg on an all-terrain vehicle about 2:30 a.m.

Tire tracks found near Government Peak in the Mojave Desert last Wednesday led to a crash site, where searchers found an ATV and the bodies of two adult males, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Because of the rugged terrain and the location of the site, a Kern County Sheriff’s Office rescue helicopter was called in to retrieve the bodies, which were then taken to the Kern County Coroner’s Office in Bakersfield.

Rice and Carbonaro, both outdoor enthusiasts, were headed to Cuddeback Lake in San Bernardino County, according to Kern County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ray Pruitt.

The men had planned on a 45-minute trip and didn’t bring food, water, extra clothing or their cell phones. The search area consisted of about 11,000 square miles and is known for rough terrain and numerous open mine shafts in the area — there are about 15,000 in San Bernardino and Riverside counties alone.

Terry Baxter, a friend of the men, said in an email to Noozhawk that Rice and Carbonaro had apparently driven off a cliff, falling about 500 feet. She said it is believed that they died on impact.

Friends form a prayer circle at a cliff's edge on Government Peak, where Santa Barbara residents Daniel Carbonaro and Chris Rice crashed their ATV on Dec. 18.
Friends pray at the cliff’s edge on Government Peak, where Santa Barbara residents Daniel Carbonaro and Chris Rice reportedly crashed their ATV on Dec. 18. (Friends of the Chris Rice and Dan Carbonaro Search Facebook group photo)

The Kern County Desert Search & Rescue Team, the Indian Wells Mine Rescue Team, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department were all part of the ground and aerial search party that exceeded 200 people.

A “Friends of the Chris Rice and Dan Carbonaro Search” Facebook page was established early last week and has more than 1,100 members. Friends and family have used the site to post remembrances, photos and updates.

Friends and family are invited to honor Carbonaro’s life at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Godric Grove area at Elings Parks. Rice’s memorial is set for Jan. 4. The media are not invited to Carbonaro’s services Wednesday. No further details have been released.

The Dan Carbonaro and Chris Rice Search Fund has been opened at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. The account number is 0102413861. Stop by any branch or mail to SBBT/Cottage Office, 220 Nogales St., Santa Barbara CA 93105. Put a note in the envelope marked C/O Jonathan J. Katz-Moses: Dan Carbonaro and Chris Rice Search Fund. Click here to make an online donation.

All donations will help Rice’s and Carbonaro’s families pay for hotels, supplies, funeral arrangements, etc. Call 805.448.8234 for more information.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >