Hiker found dead at White Sands National Park

New Mexico News

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – The body of a hiker has been found at White Sands National Park. The Organ Mountain Technical Rescue Squad, New Mexico State Police, Border Patrol, Otero County and others were called in to help when a hiker didn’t return to their vehicle Sunday evening.

On Monday, crews say they spotted the person’s footprints and tracked them for half a mile before locating a deceased male off-trail. New Mexico State Police have identified the man as Jeffrey Minshew, 63, of Moriarty. Investigators say no foul play is suspected at this time.

The park reminds people to always hike with at least two to three liters of water. Monday, the temperatures were in the 90s at White Sands. Park officials also say for summer hiking at White Sands, start in the coolest part of the day, early morning or early evening. It is recommended that visitors not start a hike when the temperature is at or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Officials say also recommend taking energy snacks, wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and long pants to help protect skin from the sun. They say to always have a plan, carry a cell phone, and tell someone who is not in your party where you are hiking and when you plan to return.

The last reported death at the park was in 2019. In most cases, the death involved visitors who get disoriented amid the dunes and can’t find their way back.

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