Hiker Mourned in Valley Center

Deputies found the 21-year-old man unresponsive on a mountain Thursday night

By Diana Guevara, Monica Garske and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Sep 17, 2012  |  Updated 6:55 AM PDT
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The Valley Center community mourns the loss of a 21-year-old man who died while hiking in the heat. NBC 7's Diana Guevara reports on the death of Collin Barnes.

The Valley Center community mourns the loss of a 21-year-old man who died while hiking in the heat. NBC 7's Diana Guevara reports on the death of Collin Barnes.

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A Valley Center man who died after going on a hike late Thursday is being remembered as a young man with great potential.

Friends gathered at Ridgeview Church Sunday to remember Collin Barnes.

"I believed in him and you expect him to go on and on and soar in his life,” Pastor Bill Trok said.

Trok has had to bring bad news to countless families as the chaplain for San Diego County Sheriff’s Department but Thursday night's tragedy was personal.

"This is like one of my kids," Trok said.

On Thursday evening Barnes told his parents he was going for a run up to Flat Top Mountain on Paseo Robles to take pictures of the sunset, but he never returned.

Barnes, a Palomar Community College student and a Valley Center High School graduate was a preschool teacher at Ridgeview Church and a young leader many describe as wise beyond his years.

"There's probably never been a 21-year-old in this town that had a bigger impact on the lives of people than him," he said.

Trok says Collin's body was found along this trail just below Flat Top Mountain.

"He was a good strong, big, strappin' kid, but the heat got him," Trok said.

Officials have not yet released a cause of death.
 

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