DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — An Arizona man was found dead Friday and his wife was rescued from a remote part of Death Valley National Park after they were reported missing from a camping trip earlier in the week.
The Inyo Creek Sheriff’s Office said Alexander Lofgren, 32, and Emily Henkel, 27, were both found on a steep ledge in a difficult to access part of the park.
Lofgren was dead and Henkel was airlifted to Lemoore Naval Air Station for treatment. Her condition was not released. His cause of death is under investigation.
“This has been a tremendously difficult operation in a very unforgiving geographic area of Inyo County, I sincerely hope for healing and recovery for all involved,” Sheriff Jeff Hollowell said in the statement.
The Tucson couple, described as avid and experienced campers, were reported missing Tuesday when they failed to return from a camping trip Sunday. Their Subaru was found Wednesday with a note that stated: “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water.”
The sheriff’s office said the note helped authorities direct their search efforts. The couple were spotted during an aerial reconnaissance Thursday in a very remote area so crews were unable to reach them until 11:30 a.m. Friday. Temperatures reached the high 90s throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service.
“It is unclear at this point (Thursday) what condition Lofgren and Henkel (were in),” the sheriff’s office said.
Lofgren was an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He worked as an aide to Arizona Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, NBC News reported.
“Words cannot begin to describe how heartbroken I am over the death of Alex Lofgren,” Grijalva said in a statement. “Alex will forever be a part of our family, and my heart is with his family, his loving partner Emily, and his colleagues who mourn him today.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.