O.C. man who went missing in Sequoia National Park last month found dead

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Matt Thoke, 43, of Newport Beach, was last seen on Wednesday, July 21 while hiking at Sequoia National Park.

Matt Thoke, 43, of Newport Beach, was last seen on Wednesday, July 21 while hiking at Sequoia National Park.

A Newport Beach man who had been missing since last month after going on a hike in Sequoia National Park was found dead over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

The body of 43-year-old Matt Thoke was found and recovered in an area that was “not visible by air and hardly visible on the ground,” according to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks official Twitter page.

“We are not able to share more details at this time and ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy,” officials said in a tweet.

Thoke was last seen on July 21 as he was leaving the High Sierra Trail about three miles east of the Crescent Meadow trailhead, just east of Panther Creek, a release from the park previously stated.

He had separated from his group during a multiday wilderness trip and was hiking from Bearpaw to Crescent Meadow. He apparently walked off trail, downhill to the south, without his pack, officials said.

Ground searchers were challenged by steep, densely vegetated terrain that made it easy to slip and trip. The area was even described as being “impassable” for skilled and experienced searchers. Thoke’s family at one point recruited skilled search teams to continue efforts in coordination with NPS incident managers, officials said.

The search, however, was scaled back on Aug. 2.

No further details about the search and rescue operation, as well as Thoke’s condition, were released.

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