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Body believed to be that of missing hiker is found on Mt. Baldy

December 8, 2010 | 10:55 pm

After scouring Mt. Baldy for days, search crews Wednesday found a body believed to be that of a hiker who went missing over the weekend.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said a rescue team member spotted what authorities believe to be the body of Michelle Yu, an experienced 49-year-old hiker from Venice. Crews found the body northwest of the mountain, in a steep, cold and unforgiving area void of vegetation, said Jodi Miller, a public information officer with the Sheriff’s Department.

“The area is extremely treacherous,” Miller said. “It’s very, very steep.”

Although authorities believe the body is Yu, officials are still waiting for positive identification. The identification and cause of death will be determined by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Because of the terrain, crews could not remove the body Wednesday evening but plan to do so early Thursday.

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 searched for Yu for days.

RELATED:

Rescue teams search for woman who vanished during Mt. Baldy hike

Search for missing hiker continues into third day

Rescue teams head into fourth day of search for missing hiker

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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