Missing Arizona Hiker Found Dead Days After Texting Husband

by Amy Myers
Photo by Jeff Topping/Getty Images

The search for the missing Arizona hiker who had taken Spur Cross Conservation Area came to a tragic end as teams located the woman’s body.

Previously, 60-year-old local Kathleen Patterson had left her residence on Sunday to embark on the Spur Cross Trail, Cave Creek at roughly 7:30 a.m. Two and a half hours later, she texted her husband to alert him that she had ventured off-trail but was confident that she would be able to make it back.

“She sent me a text at 10:02 [saying] ‘Hey babe got off course. I’m good plenty of water,’ ” Kathleen’s husband Steve Patterson told Arizona’s ABC 15.

Less than an hour later, Steve reported that his wife had called him with an update – she was heading back to her car.

“She’s like, ‘I’m cranking. I’m on my way back, I’ll text you from the parking lot,’ ” said Steve.

This was the last conversation they had before Kathleen’s disappearance.

Steve reported that his wife was a skilled hiker. However, after hours had passed and there was still no sign of her, Steve took it upon himself to search for her car and contact authorities.

Steve told AZ Family, “When I saw her car it was about three in the afternoon and I immediately knew something was wrong.”

While the search wore on for Kathleen, her husband noted, “My sense is she’s still here but off the trail injured and can’t respond.

Arizona Authorities Used a Multitude of Methods to Search for Missing Hiker

It is unclear if Kathleen had any emergency gear or supplies for an overnight in Spur Cross Conservation Area. However, it was clear that once Steve lost communication with his wife that she was in need of immediate assistance. As a result, authorities launched a search using quite a few different methods across the region.

“We’ve had people on horseback, drones, we had a couple of guys doing paragliding, we have Arizona SARTAC which is our own search and rescue team,” Sunny Parker, founder of Arizona Foothills 911 nonprofit, told AZ Family. “We had people on bicycles. We had people spend the night out looking for her last night.”

Along with the crews, many volunteers also joined the efforts and scoured the conservation area and trail. Sadly, the search came to an end on Wednesday, September 28 with tragic results.

“Unfortunately, she was found deceased by a volunteer searcher off-trail in the Spur Cross Conservation Area,” the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The MCSO has yet to reveal a cause of death. According to PEOPLE, there is no suspicion of foul play in Kathleen’s death. Authorities are also withholding the identity of the individual that found the missing hiker.