Rescue team member found dead amid search for missing SoCal hiker

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Tim Staples, 32.

MOUNT BALDY, California (KSEE/KGPE) – A search and rescue team member from San Bernardino County was found dead Saturday night amid the search for a hiker in Mount Baldy.

The fallen rescuer has been identified as 32-year-old Tim Staples. He was a volunteer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department West Valley Search and Rescue team for nine years.

He was among more than a hundred search and rescue volunteers from 11 California counties, including volunteers from Fresno County, helping in the search of the hiker.

The 52-year-old hiker was seperated from his group more than a week ago and never returned from a day hike.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says Staples was found in an ice chute this evening. It’s believed he died from a fall.

“In the daytime the snow starts to melt and then as they day goes as it gets cooler it turns to ice and its extremely dangerous and folks get lost, slide down ice chutes; that’s what happened today apparently; and that can happen even with the most experienced hikers,” said John McMahon with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

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