Missing hiker found dead on East County mountain

LAKESIDE, Calif. -- Sheriff's deputies Sunday confirmed that a body found overnight on El Cajon Mountain is that of the hiker who went missing Saturday afternoon.

The hiker, 50-year-old Thomas Mark Castiglia, had met with a group at the mountain around 8:30 a.m. Saturday intending to hike to Lunch Rock, according to an earlier release from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

A little more than two hours later, Castiglia told his fellow hikers that he would be going at a slower pace than the rest of the group, and told them not to wait up for him. He was reported missing after he failed to return from the trailhead by 2:45 p.m.

Sheriff's deputies searching the area throughout the night with the help of a helicopter, and eventually locate a body matching Castiglia's description near the base of a sheer cliff, another news release said.

The County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene around 7 a.m., Sheriff's Lt. Karla Menzies said, and the body was identified as Castiglia.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office was working to determine how the hiker died.

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