A missing Marina del Rey man was found dead Sunday, June 5th, after he apparently fell several hundred feet into a ravine while hiking in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County officials said.
The body of Michael Miller, 61, was found by a Ventura County search and rescue team at about 1:15 p.m. in an “extremely rugged area” on the north face of Mount Pinos, said Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Senior Deputy Rick Harwood, assistant search and rescue coordinator.
Miller had been reported missing by his family Saturday, May 28th, after he left for a hiking trip in Yosemite National Park Monday, May 23rd, and did not return home, Harwood said.
Family members were unsure about where Miller was hiking, but located his car Friday, June 3rd, in the parking lot at the summit of Mount Pinos, Harwood said.
“He was an avid hiker,” Harwood said. “The fact that he was missing and had not returned home led us to believe that he was hiking in the mountain.”
Miller had apparently stopped to hike in the Los Padres National Forest on his way back home from Yosemite, he said.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department initiated the search effort Friday, June 3rd, which included search and rescue teams from Los Angeles, Kern, Santa Barbara and San Bernardino Counties Sheriff’s Departments.
Between 55 and 65 search and rescuers searched through the night Friday, June 3rd, all day Saturday, June 4th, and Sunday, June 5th, until Miller’s body was located in the early afternoon.
The search and rescue team had hiked down to the area where Miller’s body was found in “steep, rocky terrain,” he said.
“It looked like he had accidentally fallen several hundred feet into the canyon,” he said.
No foul play was suspected in Miller’s death. The hiker was believed to be hiking alone when he fell, Harwood said.
The area of the mountain where Miller was found was so steep that a helicopter was brought in to hoist Miller’s body and the rescue team out of the ravine.
The body was released to the Kern County medical examiner for an autopsy, he said.
Harwood said Miller’s death is the first on Mount Pinos in which a hiker fell to his death.
A Los Angeles hiker died last year around Thanksgiving as a result of a medical condition he suffered on the mountain, he said.