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Body of missing Thousand Oaks hiker discovered in park closed because of heavy rains

January 22, 2010 |  5:42 pm

The body of a Thousand Oaks hiker was discovered today in a rain-swollen creek at the bottom of a steep canyon in Wildwood Regional Park, which had been closed because of the rains, authorities said.

Matthew Chidgey, 40, was the subject of a search after he failed to return from his solo outing Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. He had told his roommate he was heading for the park’s waterfalls.

A helicopter from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department assisted in recovering Chidgey’s body from the park, authorities said.

Hikers and park visitors are urged to wait at least three days after a rainstorm before accessing the trails in the park, authorities said. At the time of Chidgey’s disappearance, the parks' trails had already been closed by park officials and marked with warning signs.

--Steve Chawkins