The body of a missing Pacific Crest Trail hiker was found Monday in Kings Canyon National Park.
Park officials were notified Sunday that a group of hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail had discovered a body submerged in the south fork of the Kings River at an elevation of 10,000 feet north of Bench and Marjorie Lakes.
The park’s ground and aviation staff confirmed the location Monday afternoon and recovered the body.
The Fresno County Coroner’s Office identified the body as Rika Morita, a 32-year-old hiker from Japan who was last seen around July 8 in the Rae Lakes area.
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Park officials want hikers to know that “wilderness travel conditions have improved and usage is increasing, however, rapid snow melt continues at high elevations, resulting in dangerous water crossings and persistent snow and ice. Wilderness travelers are encouraged to have flexible plans and scout for the safest locations and times to cross, which may not be the same as in previous years, or at regular trail crossing locations.”