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East County News Service

File photo by Billy Ortiz: Hiking trail leading to El Cajon Mountain

August 1, 2023 (Lakeside) – An all-night search for a hiker reported missing yesterday afternoon has ended after a body was found at 8:45 this morning near a hiking trail in El Cajon Mountain (also known as  El Capitan).

The man, 34, left to go hiking around 9 a.m. yesterday and was expected home around 2 p.m.  When he didn’t return, his family contacted the San Diego County Sheriff’s department.

A Sheriff's Command Post was established at the Lakeside Christian Church on  El Monte Road. The Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) Unit was also activated.

“Volunteers searched the area with the assistance of the Sheriff's ASTREA (helicopter) Unit throughout the night,” says Lieutenant Chris Katra.

The identity of the deceased will be released by the Medical Examiner after a positive identification is made and family notified.  The Medical Examiner’s office will determine the cause and manner of death.

 “We want to thank all the volunteers who helped during the search operations,”Lt. Katra says.

Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) is an all-volunteer unit.  Together, they perform wilderness and urban rescues and search for missing and at-risk persons.  Teams are available 24 hours per day to respond to local, state and federal agency requests. To learn more about SAR, visit:


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