Body of missing Sawtooth hiker identified

Body of missing Sawtooth hiker identified

Body of missing Sawtooth hiker identified

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by KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 16 at 3:32 PM

BOISE -- Custer County authorities say a hiker who was reported missing in the Sawtooth Mountains on Saturday evening was found dead at the base of Saddleback waterfalls.

The 55-year-old man was identified Tuesday as Ron B. Eliggi of Ketchum, Idaho.

The Custer County Sheriff's Office got a phone call from the Redfish Lake Lodge at 7:35 p.m. Saturday stating that a man who was dehydrated and fatigued had gotten separated from his two, hiking partners. He was last seen on the trail to Saddleback Lakes.

Reports from Eliggi's hiking partners said that they crossed a boulder section of the trail that he did not want to cross. Both partners had already crossed and waited for Eliggi farther down the trail, but he never showed up.

Eliggi was later found dead in the water, at the base of Saddleback waterfalls.

Rescue authorities believe he walked out on the granite slab at the crest of the waterfall, then was swept away by the water and sent crashing into the rocks below.

An autopsy is currently being performed by the Custer County coroner.

County officials say Eliggi was medicated for multiple medical conditions and consequently, was easily disoriented. They say his hiking partners were aware of his medical problems prior to making the hike back to Saddleback Lakes.

THE SEARCH

A small search party including two sheriff's deputies, two Redfish employees, a Forest Service officer and others went to the inlet trailhead and searched at the man's last known location on Saturday evening. However, they could not continue the search due to darkness.

The search resumed the next morning. Members of the Sawtooth Search and Rescue, Custer County Search and Rescue, Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, Blaine County Search and Rescue, Forest Service and Custer County Sheriff's Office were involved in the search.

The missing hiker was found deceased around 5:30 p.m. Sunday by the search party.

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