Man's body found near Mount Baldy area where missing hiker disappeared

MOUNT BALDY, Calif. (KABC) -- A man's body has been found near the Mount Baldy area where a 23-year-old hiker went missing on Saturday, authorities said.

The deceased man was discovered Wednesday about 1,000 feet below the ridgetop on Devil's Backbone, a trail whose terrain is so treacherous that it is expected to complicate the recovery of the body. He was not immediately identified.

The grim discovery was made after a search-and-rescue team from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department scoured the area.

In an interview on Wednesday, hiker Terry Lynn Whitfield described Devil's Backbone as "way too slippery, way too dangerous."

"It's extremely rocky and it's a straight fall down," she said.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department said firefighters have made five rescue attempts so far this year. That includes an operation Jan. 26 after a pair of hikers were overtaken by an avalanche and slid several hundred feet down a hillside.

Both individuals survived the incident.

Some local residents say many hikers set out without being properly prepared.

"We saw one guy in shorts and a T-shirt and flip-flops," Whitfield said. "That was pretty ridiculous."

Ruth Parker, who has lived in the area since the mid-1980s, said some outdoor enthusiasts "underestimate Mount Baldy a lot when they're hiking."

"People come up here and think they can do whatever they want to do," she said. "It's not so."
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.