Body of missing backpacker found in Yosemite National Park


YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — The body of a hiker who disappeared in Yosemite National Park after being swept away by a cold and fast brook like california epic winter snow cover melt was found over the weekend, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Hayden T. Klemenok went missing on July 2 while traveling with a group in Upper Chilnualna Falls, the National Park Service said in a statement.

Hayden Klemenok was last seen wading into Chilnualna Creek in Yosemite National Park on July 2. Yosemite National Park

It disappeared shortly after entering Chilnualna Creek near the trail junction, the service said. That section of the creek is about a dozen miles south of Yosemite Valley and features a series of waterfalls and cascades that plunge hundreds of feet.

Klemenok’s body was found on Sunday and recovered on Monday. How he died remains under investigation, said Scott Gediman, a spokesman for Yosemite National Park.

«The cause of death is currently presumed to be accidental drowning.» Kelmenok’s sister, Taylor McKinnie, said in a statement posted on Facebook. She did not immediately respond to a Facebook message seeking comment.

Klemenok’s parents said The San Francisco Chronicle that friends said the day of the accident was hot and that the 24-year-old from Petaluma, California, had gotten down on all fours to splash his face, but his hands slipped and he waded into the water.

“It’s the worst experience any parent or family should go through,” said Michelle Klemenok.

California authorities have been warning the public that rivers, streams and lakes are extremely dangerous this year due to massive runoff. The water is so cold that a person can lose muscle control in a matter of minutes, authorities say.

Despite the warnings, there have been repeated tragedies. Nearly two dozen people have drowned or gone missing in California rivers since mid-April, according to the Bay Area Newsgroupwho has been tracking reports from local authorities.

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