Body of Manhattan Beach hiker is found 9 months after he went missing in the Sierra

The body of a Manhattan Beach man who disappeared nearly nine months ago while hiking in the Sierra has been found, national park officials said Thursday.

The recovery of the remains of Robert Woodie — a former butcher who ran a handyman business in the South Bay — marks a grim end to a search that began in October.

Woodie, 74, was reported missing after he did not return from a four-day backpacking trek in Kings Canyon National Park. His solo hiking trip started on Oct. 13, and a satellite messaging device indicated Woodie was in the area of Barrett Lakes about Oct. 15.

“He was an experienced hiker,” said Zach Behrens, a spokesman for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “He knew the area.”

Around that time, a cold spell hit that part of the Sierra Nevada, with strong winds, temperatures below freezing at night and snow at higher elevations.

A memorial website set up by Woodie’s son has said that Woodie was believed to be a victim of a rock slide.

On July 6, a group of hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail found a body about 300 feet from the Bishop Pass trail. The next morning, authorities recovered the remains and the Inyo County coroner’s office identified the body as Woodie’s, county officials said in a statement.

The search for Woodie began Oct. 18, two days after his scheduled return. The search area consisted of Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin, Barrett Lakes and the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail for the length of Le Conte Canyon.

More than 130 people joined in the search effort, which was called off on Oct. 28.

“High winds, snow and freezing conditions made searching unsafe and locating clues became impossible,” Inyo County officials said in a statement.

Woodie, who was known as Bob, was a 56-year resident of Manhattan Beach who is survived by a wife and two sons.

After a three-decade career as a butcher, he retired and ran a handyman business.

“His handyman clients delighted in reporting the high quality of his work and his practice of under charging,” said an obituary published on a website set up by one of his sons. “For him, work was less about the money and more about engaging with nice people on a daily basis.”

Woodie was a skilled outdoorsman who took his children and grandchildren into the wilderness. Often he would go on trips alone.

“The eastern Sierra backcountry was his church,” the obituary states, “and he worshiped at the altar of its trout fishing.”

Times staff writer Sarah Parvini contributed to this report.

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattHjourno

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