The body of a missing hiker was located and recovered in the San Bernardino Mountains by search and rescues crews Sunday.
Robert Carey Jr., 33, of Calimesa was found Saturday night at the base of Big Falls Waterfall, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Carey was reported missing earlier in the day after he had not returned from a hike on San Gorgonio Peak. Family members said Carey was an experienced hiker but had never traversed that particular peak.
Crews from the San Bernardino County fire and sheriff’s departments were dispatched to the Forest Falls area after witnesses reported hearing a man yelling for help.
A sheriff’s helicopter flew over the area and located Carey unresponsive at the base of the waterfall.
In the dark of night, a helicopter crew member was hoisted down to where Carey was to perform first aid, but Carey was determined to have already been deceased. Investigators believe he fell 80 feet down to the base of the waterfall.
Due to the dangerous terrain and “complexity of the recovery operation,” crews had to delay the recovery of his body until sunrise. On Sunday, search and rescue crews were dropped down and successfully recovered his remains.
The San Bernardino County Coroner’s office responded to the scene and confirmed Carey’s identification. His family has been informed and offered their gratitude to the search and rescuers who recovered his remains, the Sheriff’s Department said.