Searcher dies while seeking missing California hiker

World

This undated photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department shows West Valley Search & Rescue Team member Tim Staples, a teacher and volunteer for nine years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department West Valley Search & Rescue Team. Authorities have suspended the search for a missing hiker on Southern California’s Mount Baldy after Staples, who was aiding in the search was found dead on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. Staples became separated from his partner and was later spotted by helicopter in an ice chute after apparently falling to his death, authorities said. (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department West Valley Search & Rescue Team via AP)

CALIFORNIA (AP) – Authorities have suspended the search for a missing hiker on Southern California’s Mount Baldy after a searcher was found dead.

Thirty-two-year-old Tim Staples was found in an ice chute Saturday. He’d apparently had fallen to his death. Staples, a recently married schoolteacher, was a nine-year volunteer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department West Valley Search & Rescue Team.

Searchers have spent nearly a week seeking Sreenivas “Sree” Mokkapati. The 52-year-old Irvine man vanished on Dec. 8 after becoming separated from a group of hikers. Friends and family say he was only prepared for a day hike.

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