Experienced Hiker Found Dead in San Bernardino National Forest

Robert Carey Jr., 33 was found dead at the base of Big Falls Waterfall in Forest Falls near Southern California’s San Gorgonio Peak on May 1st. “Investigators estimated Carey dropped approximately 80 feet,” according to a statement by the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. Search and Rescue was initially dispatched on April 30th after receiving calls from his family and from nearby witnesses who heard him yelling for help.

When rescuers arrived, they saw that Carey had already succumbed to his injuries. The operation was postponed Saturday night, and resumed during daylight hours on Sunday, when his remains were successfully recovered.

Carey’s family describes him as an experienced hiker, but this was his first time attempting San Gorgonio Peak, an 11,500 mountain in San Bernardino National Forest. It is the highest peak in California south of the Sierra Nevada, according to USDA Forest Service.

According to NBC, Carey’s mother, Bonnie Phillips, said she “already knew there was something terribly wrong” when he didn’t arrive at the family’s weekly Saturday night dinner.

“He sent me a text. He said: ‘When you wake up, go out and look at the tallest mountain you see out there. And I’ll be up there. Wish me luck,'” Phillips said. “He was adamant that he was going to make it to the top of that mountain. And he did.”

She described her son as being well-liked at work (Carey was a bus driver in downtown Los Angeles) and said he was loving and caring to his family.

Featured image: View from San Gorgonio Peak. Photo via Owen Eigenbrot.

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