After weeks of searching and days of trying to stabilize the ground enough to recover the body, family members will soon learn if the body is that of Guillermo Pino, 24, missing since Easter Sunday.
A mine rescue team extricated a man’s body discovered in a mud cave in the Anza Borrego Desert east of San Diego Tuesday night.
Family members believe the remains are those of hiker Guillermo Pino, Jr., last seen while hiking with family members on April 8.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office in Kearny Mesa will identify the body and determine cause and manner of death.
Pino Jr.'s family has been searching for the UC San Diego student since he disappeared. His father Guillermo Roberto Pino, Sr. had no comment Tuesday night but just 24 hours earlier, he told NBCSanDiego, “We have never given up and we didn’t and we found him."
The body was wedged in a 50-foot hole inside a mud cave where searchers say the walls are so soft and sandy that they are crumbling.
The caves are pitch black narrow holes that wind around and drop into deeper holes.
The family hired a private investigator to lower a camera into the deep hole over the weekend. They said clothing appears to identify the body as Pino.
The mine rescue team, affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, arrived Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.