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Missing Death Valley hiker found dead after 123-degree day

A missing hiker was found dead in Death Valley after a day in which the temperature there reached 123 degrees.

A press release Thursday from Death Valley National park and the Inyo County sheriff gave some of the details of the search and recovery on Sept. 6 and 7:

The search began after 9 p.m. on Sept. 6 — the Sunday of the Labor Day weekend — when a call was received about a “potentially deceased hiker.”

Sheriff’s deputies and park rangers started a search out of the Zabriskie Point trailhead but by 2 a.m. had not found the victim.

The next morning, after talking with the person who had made the call, a search team found the victim about 45 yards off the Badlands Loop Trail and a mile from the Zabriskie Point trailhead. The Badlands trail is a 2½-mile loop that connects to the popular Golden Canyon route.

The body was taken to the Inyo County coroner’s office. No identification or cause of death had been released as of Thursday, but the park’s statement said “extreme heat appeared to be a factor.”

The high temperature Sept. 6 at Death Valley’s Furnace Creek was 123. Record temperatures across California that weekend contributed to power outages and a spate of fast-moving wildfires.

On Aug. 16, Death Valley had recorded 130 degrees, believed to be the highest verifiable temperature on Earth in at least 100 years.

Source: Orange County Register

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