HUMBOLDT, Calif. — The body of a missing California hiker was recovered Sunday after an intense three-day search by 12 rescue teams, police said.
Rescuers found the remains of Daniel Komins in a remote wilderness area in northern California’s Trinity Alps, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office reported on Facebook.
Komins, a volunteer firefighter with Blue Lake Fire Department in Humboldt County, had embarked on a solo hike beginning August 10 and his family reported the 34-year-old missing when he did not return home as planned five days later, according to the sheriff’s office.
Preliminary evidence suggests that Komins may have fallen in the steep and rocky terrain, police said.
An experienced hiker and an emergency medical technician, Komins had food, water, backpacking supplies, his cell phone and a GPS device with him on the hike, according to the sheriff.
Komins had told his girlfriend on the night of August 11 “that the trip was going as planned,” the sheriff’s office said. Komins had made contact from his campsite using his cell phone, which showed no activity after that day.
On the evening of Wednesday, August 14, Komins’ unoccupied vehicle was located near a Trinity County trailhead, police said.
The following day, when the search began, his GPS device was no longer transmitting a signal, the sheriff’s office stated.
The effort to locate Komins included over 40 individual ground searchers, numerous helicopter teams and various all-terrain vehicle teams, according to the sheriff’s office. Helicopters also placed ground searchers into high elevation areas to investigate the difficult-to-access trails.
On Sunday morning, the 12 rescue teams began investigating their respective areas around first light, the sheriff’s office said. Later that morning, a California Highway Patrol helicopter observed what appeared to be a backpack lying off trail, between L Lake and Mirror Lake. The backpack was recovered by ground search teams already near the area.
The team identified the backpack as belonging to Komins, continued to comb the locale and soon found his body, police said. Komins’ remains were then flown from the area via helicopter.