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July 18, 2013 (Ramona) – A hiker found dead on a trail at San Dieguito River Park on the San Pasqual Clevenger Trail has been identified as Ellen Turkish Comisso, 65, of La Jolla.

Two hikers found the victim in brush just off the trail on the morning of July 5 and called 911.  The San Diego Medical Examiner has found that her death was caused by hyperthermia, a condition most commonly associated with heat stroke.  It is unknown how long the victim had been deceased before she was found.

Contributing conditions include a history of anhidrosis (or lack of sweating) and coronary artery atherosclerosis, the Medical Examiner reports.

The tragedy serves as a reminder that if you hike in the backcountry, be sure to carry plenty of water.  Hike with a friend if possible, carry a cell phone and a whistle to summon help if needed, and make sure someone knows where you are going and when  you are expected to return.