Two Missing Hikers Found – One Deceased When SAR Arrived

(STORY UPDATED BY INYO COU TY SHERIFF’S OFFICE – Saturday 4-10-21)

Inyo County SAR were able to access the remote and steep ledge around 11:40 a.m., Saturday.  Hiker Alexander Lofgren was confirmed deceased.  An investigation into the cause of his death continues. Hiker Emily Henkel was airlifted to the hospital by air support from Lemoore Naval Air Station.

Original Report – Posted 4-9-21 . . .

Two missing hikers from Tucson, AZ were found, yesterday afternoon, April 8, in Death Valley National Park, reported the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

32-year-old Alexander Lofgren, and 27-year-old Emily Henkel were spotted through aerial reconnaissance in a very remote area of Death Valley National Park near Willow Creek, on a very steep ledge.

A hoist operation was attempted, but due to the extreme location the two team members who rappelled down were unable to reach Lofgren and Henkel.

Inyo Sheriff’s report it is unclear what condition Lofgren and Henkel are in. Today an Inyo Search and Rescue technical team will travel to Death Valley National Park and will descend the canyon as soon as they arrive.

The missing white Subaru was located first by Death Valley National Park rangers at approximately 11:00 a.m. off of Gold Valley Road. A note was located in the vehicle that read, “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days worth of water.” This note proved to be a crucial tip in directing search efforts. The location of the vehicle was not included in Lofgren’s backcountry itinerary.

A search was initiated on Tuesday, April 6, after Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification that Lofgren and Henkel had not returned by their due date of April 4. Lofgren’s backcountry itinerary was thoroughly checked along with every attraction and tourist site along Highway 190, with no results.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies: Inyo County Search and Rescue, The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies: Inyo County Search and Rescue, Death Valley National Park, CalOES, and China Lake Naval Weapons Base for aerial support.