Lifetime’s Vanished in Yosemite: Is it Based on a Real Missing Person?

Lifetime’s ‘Vanished in Yosemite’ is a thriller drama movie that revolves around two sisters, namely Katrina and Jennifer, who go on a vacation in Yosemite, where they come across a seemingly perfect young man, Rick. After getting to know the handsome man, Katrina thinks that she has finally found Mr. Right. However, when she vanishes deep in the wilderness of the national park, Jennifer believes that there is some foul play involved.

Worried sick, Jennifer traverses across Yosemite in search of Katrina, hoping to find her before something tragic happens to her sister. Helmed by Doug Campbell, the film’s story touches upon various true-to-life themes and elements, including kidnapping and a missing person case, making the viewers pose the question — Is ‘Vanished in Yosemite’ rooted in reality or not? Well, let’s explore the same in detail, shall we?

Vanished in Yosemite: Inspired by True Events

‘Vanished in Yosemite’ is not based on a true story. However, given the reputation of Yosemite National Park and real-life cases of missing persons in and around the national park, the makers of the film supposedly took inspiration from various true events and weaved an enthralling yet realistic screenplay for the Lifetime film. There have been thousands of reports of missing people in Yosemite over the years, out of which some were resolved with the help of rescue teams. But unfortunately, several of the missing people either were found dead or haven’t been found yet.

For instance, the 74-year-old Peter Jackson was reported to be missing in 2016 in Yosemite National Park and is yet to be found, making it one of the National Park Services’ cold cases. According to the authorities, his backpack was found on the west side of the national park in August 2019, but no other evidence of his being was found. Thus, hearing about such real-life cases might be the primary reason why most of you wonder if the Lifetime movie is rooted in reality.

Another reason why some of you might find the themes and elements of the thriller film, including the case of a missing person in a national park, familiar is that they have been explored in several other movies and TV shows. One of the aptest examples has to be that of Lifetime’s ‘Disappearance in Yellowstone,’ which is directed by Tony Dean Smith. Starring Lucie Guest as Jessie, a mother whose car breaks down in the middle of a desolate national park while her 17-year-old daughter Michelle locks herself inside. Having no choice, Jessie goes into the woods looking for help alone.

When Jessie comes back to her car with a local mechanic named Grant, they discover that her daughter is missing. With the police suspecting her of kidnapping her own daughter, she must search for her daughter and find the perpetrator before she gets killed. Although several elements of the two movies in question are different, their core theme of a missing person at a national park runs parallel. So, keeping in mind all the above-mentioned factors, we can come to the conclusion that ‘Vanished in Yosemite’ has nothing to do with a true story and is a work of fiction.

Read More: Is Lifetime’s Trapped in the Farmhouse Based on a True Story?