Remains of missing hiker found on Southern California peak

FILE - In this file photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office is Sreenivas Mokkapati. Mokkapapti became separated from his group while hiking Mount Baldy in Southern California in December 2019. The peak was blanketed in snow and overnight temperatures hovered near freezing the week he went missing. Hikers have found the remains of Mokkapati, authorities said Monday, June 29, 2020. (San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hikers have found the remains of a missing 52-year-old man on Mount Baldy in Southern California, authorities said Monday.

Sreenivas Mokkapati became separated from his group while hiking last December. The peak was blanketed in snow and overnight temperatures hovered near freezing the week he went missing.

The remains were discovered June 19th at an elevation of about 7,800 feet (2,377 meters) on Baldy’s northwest side, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The county’s medical examiner positively identified the remains to be Mokkapati, the department said.

Friends and relatives said the Irvine man was an experienced hiker who had climbed the mountain several times but was only prepared for a day hike.

Rescue crews scoured the mountain for days but the effort was suspended after a searcher fell to his death.

The 10,046-foot (3,062-meter) peak northeast of Los Angeles is a popular hiking spot but the trails are rugged and can be treacherous in winter because of ice and heavy snow. Several people have fallen to their deaths in recent years.

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