A hiker who had set out for a weekend trek through the Angeles National Forest and was later reported missing was found dead at the bottom of an icy slope, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Wednesday.
Kyle Benjamin Hunt, 32, was an experienced, avid hiker who had told his mother in Kansas that he was setting out for a three-day hike and would return Sunday, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
But sometime after setting out on Friday, Hunt fell down a steep, icy 500-foot slope off the Pacific Crest Trail.
On Saturday, a hiker noticed Hunt's backpack southeast of Little Jimmy Campground but continued his trip and left the pack behind. On Sunday, when the hiker was headed back out of the forest and saw the pack still in the same spot, he decided to investigate, officials said.
The hiker rummaged through the pack and found an emergency telephone number listed inside – he called it and reached Hunt’s mother in Kansas, who said her son was expected to end his forest trip that day, sheriff’s officials said.
On Monday, the hiker handed the pack over to authorities, who launched a search that night for Hunt after his family officially reported him missing. The nighttime conditions were too dangerous, so crews had to abandon the effort about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
When the sun came up, they relaunched their search and found Hunt’s vehicle near a trailhead off Big Rock Creek Road, close to a small campground.
At about 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, Hunt’s body was found at the bottom of the slope.
Officials said the death is considered an accident.
For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.