Body believed to be missing hiker Michelle Yu to be retrieved from Mount Baldy area
Search crews were heading out Thursday to retrieve what is believed to be the body of missing hiker Michelle Yu on Mount Baldy.
A helicopter will fly to an area northwest of the summit, known as Fish Fork, and drop a rescue team down to remove the body thought to be the 49-year-old hiker from Venice, said Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Crews found the body early Wednesday afternoon at 7,900 feet in a very steep and icy terrain. Although clothing and physical descriptions match Yu, a positive identification and cause of death will be determined later by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, Miller said.
Search and rescue crews have speculated that poor conditions at the peak might have confused Yu.
“Because of fog, she could have got to the summit and turned in the wrong direction, and then slipped and fell,” Miller said.
“They are not able to walk,” she said. “The terrain is not safe enough."
Yu’s roommate reported her missing Sunday, when she failed to return home.
Yu signed the log book at the Sierra Hut Trail head about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. She planned to hike Baldy Peak and then walk to Baldy Notch, where she would take the ski lift down the mountain.
U.S. Forest Service officials found Yu’s vehicle near the intersection of Mt. Baldy and Falls roads. Dozens of search-and-rescue volunteers from San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Diego counties had searched for Yu for days.
-- Shan Li
Photo: A San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department rescue helicopter departs the landing zone along Glendora Ridge Road on Thursday morning to collect a body discovered Wednesday in steep and icy terrain at Mount Baldy. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times