A 41-year-old Canadian visitor reported missing in Joshua Tree National Park early Wednesday was found dead in the park later that day.
Park officials say the body of the Vancouver, British Columbia, man was found in an area of rock formations near Jumbo Rocks Campground. The name of the victim was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The camper was reported to rangers as planning to arrive at the park on Saturday, June 2, with the intention of returning to friends in Santa Paula, California, on June 5. Initial reports indicated that the missing party was staying at Indian Cove Campground, but a search of the Indian Cove area by park rangers failed to locate either the missing person or his car.
Rangers broadened the search to include all park campgrounds, picnic areas, and trailheads. The victim’s car was found at Jumbo Rocks Campground, but there was no sign of the missing party.
A ground search was started in the afternoon and involved park rangers, volunteers of Joshua Tree Search-and-Rescue (JOSAR), and the Riverside County Sheriffs Department. The California Highway Patrol provided a helicopter to assist with the search. The victim was located at approximately 9:30 p.m. in an area of granite cliffs and boulder formations about three-quarters of a mile from the campground.
Joshua Tree National Park rangers are assisting the Riverside County Sheriffs Department with the investigation of the fatality.