Hiker Found Dead After Going Missing Near Gaviota Peak in California

by Emily Morgan

California authorities have located the body of a missing hiker who tried to find help after his girlfriend suffered from heat exhaustion.

According to the California sheriff’s office, the hiker, 29-year-old Tim Sgrignoli, had gone hiking with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon in the area of Gaviota Peak in Santa Barbara County, California.

After he noticed his girlfriend was showing symptoms of heat exhaustion, he left her with his phone and some water and went to look for help. Now, after a four-day rescue mission, authorities have discovered his body, USA Today reports.

Before the grim discovery, authorities launched a widespread rescue effort that began Sunday afternoon after his girlfriend was rescued and taken to a local fire station for medical care. Rescue efforts continued throughout the week with assistance from several other agencies.

On Monday, California fire officials said 60 personnel, multiple search dogs, drones, and helicopters had been deployed to search for Sgrignoli.

When the pair went hiking in the mountainous region on Sunday afternoon, temperatures soared, hitting 114 degrees. According to Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Scott Safechuck, the couple had gone up a dirt U.S. Forest Service road and planned to hike down Trespass Trail.

Sadly, at approximately 9:29 a.m. on Thursday, deputies found Sgrignoli’s remains between Trespass Trail and Highway 101. Currently, the cause and manner of his death remain unknown. However, deputies in Santa Barbara County suspect that the scorching heat contributed to his death. In addition, no foul play is suspected at the time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you can prevent heat-related illnesses with proper preparation. Tips to avoid heat exhaustion include staying hydrated, knowing current conditions, and not engaging in outdoor activity when temperatures are soaring.

Hiker dies while hiking, soaring temps likely a factor

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a hiker has suffered the effects of heat exhaustion this summer. During the same week, a doctor died after getting lost and running out of water while hiking in Cave Creek, Arizona.

According to the Scottsdale Fire Department, six people suffered “heat emergencies” on Monday while hiking in extreme temperatures.

Per reports from SFD Captain Dave Folio, it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit when they arrived on the scene. “When we got out on that trail, the temperature on the asphalt alone was reading 127 off of our truck. I think it was 109 outside,” he told news outlets.

Before authorities arrived on the scene, “the hikers had run out of water.” They had also “gotten lost on the trails,” the fire department said via Facebook.

The victim was later identified as 32-year-old Dr. Evan Dishion. According to the institute’s website, he was a first-year adult neurology resident at the Barrow Neurological Institute.