Arizona Congressional Aide Found Dead at Death Valley National Park After Being Reported Missing on Camping Trip

by Will Shepard

An aide to an Arizona U.S. Representative was found dead in Death Valley National Park. He and his girlfriend had been missing for two days after heading out on a camping trip.

According to NBC News, authorities found Alexander Lofgren, and his girlfriend, Emily Henkel, near Willow Creek. The Tuscon, Arizona natives were exploring the desert near the California-Nevada border.

Local authorities had been doing an aerial search of the unpopulated area. The couple was seen in an exceptionally remote area, but they were “on a very steep ledge.”

However, because it was such a dangerous spot, the rescuers were unable to reach the couple. On Thursday, April 8, the sheriff said, “It is unclear at this point what condition Lofgren and Henkel [are in].”

That same day, the couple’s white Subaru was seen in Death Valley National Park. But, there was a note on the car that read, “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water.” According to authorities, this note lead rescuers to find the couple.

An Aide to a U.S. Representative was Found Dead In Death Valley National Park

But, on Friday, when rescuers were finally able to get to the couple, Lofgren was dead. His girlfriend was flown to a local Air station for medical treatment.

Additionally, Inyo County Sheriff, Jeff Hollowell, gave a statement about the couple.

“This has been a tremendously difficult operation in a very unforgiving geographic area of Inyo County. I sincerely hope for healing and recovery for all involved.”

When the couple did not return from their Death Valley National Park camping trip, a distress call was put out. The search and rescue for Lofgren and Henkle began on Tuesday.

According to Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Lofrgen served in Afghanistan. Grijalva also gave a statement about the passing of his aide.

“Words cannot begin to describe how heartbroken I am over the death of Alex Lofgren. Alex will forever be a part of our family, and my heart is with his family, his loving partner Emily, and his colleagues who mourn him today.”

Despite being experienced hikers, Death Valley National Park proved to be too much for the hikers. Even though they had a plan, authorities said that the couple was known for camping outside of designated camping sites.

Hopefully, in the future, people will take better care of how they prepare for camping. Death Valley National Park is one of the most intense places on earth and needs to be respected as such. Nonetheless, the news is tragic and incredibly sad.