Rescue crews recover body of missing hiker from El Capitan Preserve

The hiker went missing on July 31, launching a multi-day search-turned-recovery effort

NBC Universal, Inc.

A search-and-rescue team on Wednesday recovered the body of a hiker who went missing in the El Capitan Preserve in Lakeside on Monday.

The 34-year-old hiker told his family he would be back from a hike on El Cajon Mountain in the preserve at around 2 p.m. on Monday but never came home, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. The report prompted the department's search-and-rescue team to scan the area overnight by ground and air but the search was called off when they couldn't find the hiker.

At around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, the hiker's body was discovered along a trail on El Cajon Mountain. The search-and-rescue team again attempted to reach the hiker and recover the body, but high winds interrupted the recovery attempt, the SDSO said.

Weather improved on Wednesday and the sheriff's department team was able to hoist the man's body off the mountain. The body was turned over to the Medical Examiner for identification, the sheriff's department said.


The El Capitan Preserve is home to popular but challenging hiking trails and was one of several park areas closed by the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation for the month of August. In May, a hiker who complained about heat exhaustion symptoms died on the El Capitan Trail.

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