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Hiker found dead after placing distress call amid California heat wave

todayJune 24, 2024 4

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SAN DIEGO – A search helicopter pilot made a discovery that put a tragic end to a nearly two-day-long mystery of a 50-year-old woman who went missing from a group hike Sunday morning during a heat wave in California.At 9:15 a.m. Monday, a police helicopter spotted a body just a quarter-mile from an intersection.”She nearly made it out,” San Diego Police Department Lt. Dan Meyer said at a press conference.That concluded an all-hands-on-deck search that had been ongoing since the previous morning. Le Nguyen set out Sunday morning with about 100 other hikers for a 5K fundraiser, according to police. She even appeared on the group’s livestream from the mountain top, according to FOX 5 San Diego.”We need your help finding Diem Le Nguyen. Diem was hiking on ‘Nighthawk Trail’ on Black Mountain,” read the San Diego Police Department’s plea on social media. “Due to the weather and difficulty of the trail, she is missing at risk.” Around 8 a.m., the group stopped halfway up the mountain, but other hikers said she continued up the trail alone to finish the hike. She even contacted members of the group at 9:30 a.m. to tell them that she made it to the end of the trail. About 10 a.m., Le Nguyen made a distress call to her sister, saying she was “extremely hot and needed water,” Meyer said. That was the last anyone heard from her.HEAT KILLS MORE AMERICANS THAN FLOODING, TORNADOES, HURRICANES OR LIGHTNINGThe weather was punishing. The NWS had issued a Heat Advisory over the weekend due to extreme heat and humidity with no wind. The high topped out at 91 degrees but the heat index was 106.”With the heat advisory this weekend, it’s extremely hot,” San Diego Police Officer Darius Jamstjee told FOX 5 on Sunday. “Dehydration is very much a big factor for this. There’s not a lot of shade on the trail it’s just a lot of low-lying brush, so the heat will get to you very quickly, plus the elevation gain of a couple hundred feet from here.”HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEATSTROKEOther hikers commented on the heat in the social media post.”I went hiking alone and it was hot! The air blowing is like opening an oven door,” commented @badbaddiechef. “Take extra water and eat hydrating foods before, because something can always happen.”A veteran hiker in the park said that the trail is about 3-4 miles long and wide open.”As long as you’re staying on the trial you’re going to be fine,” hiker and volunteer searcher Roger Sunahara said. “They (trails) are pretty wide open and not a lot of trees, so you can’t really get lost.”HEAT RISK: NEW TOOL AIMS TO HALT CLIMBING NUMBER OF HEAT-RELATED DEATHS IN U.S.HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHER”But if you took the wrong trail, and you tried to get back and if you slipped and tripped on something, that’s always a possible scenario,” he added. “And with this heat it’s been a while. I could see that being dangerous.”Police, the sheriff’s search and rescue teams, search dogs, helicopters and drones found no sign of the woman Sunday. The search resumed Monday morning.The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office will investigate the death and confirm the body’s identity.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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