The body of a missing hiker was found on Sunday by a helicopter after a five-day search as crews worked to locate the 68-year-old man who went missing on July 19, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks said.
John Lee, of Mentone, had set out to summit Mt. Whitney with a group of hikers on July 18. After leaving Whitney Portal, the group was forced to stop about a half-mile from the top of Mt. Whitney, where they spent the night. The following morning, Lee had left the group to attempt to find a safer path for his hiking party to descend. The group waited for Lee for several hours, but when he did not return, they believed Lee would meet them at their car and descended the slope.
A search party began on July 20 by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, and several agencies joined the search. A backpack was found on July 22 on a rocky outcropping, but Lee was still missing.
Lee’s body was found on Sunday at the base of the southwest slope of Mt. Whitney at 1:35 p.m. The cause of his death remains under investigation.
Megan Ginise: 559-441-6614