Tucson man dies, woman found after going missing in Death Valley National Park
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -- A Tucson man died and a Tucson woman was rescued after the pair went missing in the Willow Creek area of Death Valley National Park in California.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said Alexander Lofgren, 32, was found dead Friday morning on a remote and steep ledge inside the park. Emily Henkel, 27, was rescued and flown to Lemoore Naval Air Station in Kings County, California. There is no update on her status.
According to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona), Lofgren was a caseworker in his district office in Tucson.
“Alex will forever be a part of our family, and my heart is with his family, his loving partner Emily, and his colleagues who mourn him today,” Grijalva wrote on Twitter.
Lofgren and Henkel were reported missing April 6, two days after they failed to return from a camping trip.
An aircraft spotted Lofgren and Henkel on the ledge Thursday, but crews could not reach them due to the terrain. A search-and-rescue team then hiked into the canyon Thursday night and arrived at the ledge Friday morning.
“This has been a tremendously difficult operation in a very unforgiving geographic area of Inyo County. I sincerely hope for healing and recovery for all involved,” said Inyo County Sheriff Jeff Hollowell.
The ICSO said Lofgren’s body was transferred to the Inyo County Coroner and an investigation is ongoing to determine how he died.
The couple was camping in the area and had vehicle trouble. They left a note on the vehicle, which helped lead rescuers to them.
“Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water,” the note read.
Lofgren and Henkel were experienced hikers and Lofgren was known for camping in remote areas, according to the ICSO.
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