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Body of hiker found at Mount Rainier

10:30 am September 28th, 2013

The body of a 66-year-old man who went missing during a day hike was recovered Friday at Mount Rainier National Park.
A park spokesman said park rangers and Mountain Rescue volunteers found George Merriam after an overnight search on Pinnacle Peak.
Merriam, who lived in Lakewood, was reported missing by his wife Thursday night when he didn’t return from a hike. Rangers found his vehicle at a trailhead and conducted a hasty search of the trail and vicinity in the dark, then initiated a more thorough search at daybreak Friday. Merriam was spotted by helicopter about 8:30 a.m. in steep terrain more than 200 feet below the trail, just before an approaching storm drove the helicopter off the mountain, officials said. Ground teams spent the next seven hours reaching and recovering the body, concluding about 3:30.
The cause or circumstances that may have led Merriam’s death weren’t announced. His name was released after authorities confirmed his identity and notified his family.
Officials said the search and recovery operation involved 29 people, including six volunteers from Olympic, Seattle, and Everett Mountain Rescue units and a helicopter from Northwest Helicopters of Olympia.

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