The body of Newport Beach hiker Matthew Thoke was retrieved following the search that lasted almost three weeks, according to park rangers yesterday.
“His body was in a location that was not visible by air and hardly visible on the ground,” a post from the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Facebook page said.
Search and rescue organizations have deployed helicopters and teams for search efforts to find Thoke who had been missing since July 21. Rescuers, however, found it hard to locate him with “terrain so steep, densely vegetated, and full of tripping and slipping hazards.”
Among those who helped in the search efforts were the Tulare, Fresno, Los Angeles and Alameda County sheriff’s offices, the Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, the Bakersfield Police Department, the California National Guard, Pinnacles National Park, Sierra Madre Mountain Rescue, as well as the California Office of Emergency Services and the U.S. Forest Service.
Thoke was eventually spotted “not far from where he was last seen, SFGate reported.
“We are saddened by this conclusion but are grateful for all the agencies, organizations, friends and family who worked on this effort,” Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks superintendent Clay Jordan, told the Visalia Times Delta. “It often takes a village to bring things to a close.”
Thoke’s cause of death was not yet announced as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks rangers asked “everyone please respect the family’s privacy.”