Body of missing hiker found on Mt. Baldy

A 22-year-old El Monte woman was found dead near the upper San Antonio Creek Falls area on Mt. Baldy, Sunday morning, Feb. 11, after search and rescue teams had attempted to locate the hiker for about a week, authorities said.

The U.S. Forest Service notified the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department that a person flying a drone may have spotted Lifei Huang about 3:25 p.m.  Saturday, sheriff’s officials said.

However, due to high winds, pilot crews could not perform an aerial search, officials said. Search and rescue teams were positioned near the area overnight to preserve the scene.

About 7:45 a.m. Sunday, medics were hoisted down to the location, where they found Huang dead, officials said. The medics and Huang were airlifted off the mountain.

Huang was reported missing just before 11:15 p.m., Feb. 4, about nine hours after she had set out for a solo hike as a devastating winter storm made its way over the area, the sheriff’s department said.

The Sheriff’s West Valley Search and Rescue crews started searching around 2:30 a.m. Monday, but did not find Huang. A subsequent search on Tuesday was halted by heavy snowfall and the risk of avalanches, the sheriff’s department said.

Search and rescue crews remained at the trail head and searched when it was safe to do so, officials said, but how many opportunities they had to search since Tuesday was not immediately known.

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