Sheriff: Camper dies, wife rescued in Death Valley National Park


In this undated image released by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office shows campers Alexander Lofgren, 32, top, and Emily Henkel, 27. An Arizona tourist died and his wife was rescued Friday, April 9, 2021 after they went missing in Death Valley National Park. Alexander Lofgren, 32, and Emily Henkel, 27, were found on a steep ledge near Willow Creek in the California desert park but Lofgren was dead, according to a statement from the Inyo Creek Sheriff’s Office.(Inyo County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — An Arizona tourist has died and his wife has been rescued after their vehicle got two flat tires and they went missing in Death Valley National Park.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office says searchers on Friday reached 32-year-old Alexander Lofgren and 27-year-old Emily Henkel on a steep ledge in the California desert park. Lofgren was dead. Henkel was flown to a Navy air base for medical treatment.

The sheriff’s office says the Tucson residents were reported missing Tuesday after they failed to return Sunday from a camping trip in the park. Their car, with two flat tires, was found Wednesday with a note inside that read, “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water.”

The note proved to be a crucial tip in directing search efforts and the pair was spotted by air on Thursday. Rescuers tried to reach them in a hoist operation but were unsuccessful because of the extreme location, the sheriff’s office said. Two team members rappelled down and were unable to reach Lofgren and Henkel.

An investigation into Lofgren’s cause and manner of death is underway.

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