Missing Seattle Hiker’s Body Found at Bottom of Cliffs Near Washington’s Lake Lillian

by Amy Myers

The search for a missing hiker has come to an end as officials have located the 24-year-old’s body near Lillian Lake in Washington.

On Monday, August 15, loved ones reported Nicolas Gomiero missing after he went hiking in the Lake Lillian region near Snoqualmie Pass in Kittitas County, Washington. That same day, local authorities organized a search and rescue operation that continued until nightfall and resumed on Tuesday. Kittitas County Search and Rescue (SAR) joined the county’s Sheriff’s Department to aid in the recovery of Gomiero. According to the sheriff’s report, the team “searched all day in the steep, rugged, mountainous terrain.”

By the end of the day Tuesday, the team still didn’t have any sign of the 24-year-old hiker. Unfortunately, the next day, the search took a turn.

At roughly 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, ‘SnoHawk,’ found Gomiero’s body at the foot of some cliffs near Lake Lillian. According to responding officials, it appeared that the hiker died from the fall. It is not yet clear where Gomiero was or what his condition was when he fell.

SAR Teams Had to Turn Back Before Recovering Gomiero’s Body

Still, even though they located the hiker’s body, the team had to return home to get the proper gear for a body retrieval mission. The report stated that this was because the terrain was not stable enough for the helicopter could land.

“Due to the rugged terrain, the Snohomish County flight crew returned to their base and retrieved a larger craft, which they used to lower teams down to Nicolas and recover him by hoist,” the report read. “Nicolas was brought to Snoqualmie Pass and transferred to the Kittitas County Coroner’s Office, which will examine the cause of his death.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, 14 different agencies aided in the search for the hiker. This collective team included the Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue, multiple SAR agencies, air support units, emergency management professionals and mountain rescue squads. Also on the team was a group that provided meals for the search and rescue and support personnel.

Community Mourns Loss of Deceased Hiker

Of course, after relaying the tragic news to the family, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office extended its condolences to Gomiero’s family.

“We grieve with Mr. Gomiero’s family and loved ones for his sudden, unexpected passing, and we thank all those who dedicated their time and energy to answering the painful questions of his loved ones.”

Likewise, community members shared their thoughts with the grieving family as well as the emergency response team.

“I’m so sorry for his family and so thankful we have men and women who spend countless hours looking for the lost. Thank you all for your hard work,” one person wrote on the Facebook post.

The Sheriff’s Office has not disclosed any more details of the upcoming autopsy or possible investigation. So far, there has been no mention of foul play in the hiker’s death.