MOUNT BALDY, CA – A young hiker who had been missing for several days on the towering Mount Baldy in Southern California was discovered deceased over the weekend, according to local authorities.
The body of 22-year-old Lefei Huang was retrieved from the upper San Antonio Creek Falls area of the mountain by a helicopter crew on Sunday morning, as per the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The potential location of Huang was reported by a drone operator on Saturday afternoon. However, due to adverse conditions, immediate on-foot search was not possible and high winds deterred an aerial search.
Mount Baldy, rising over 10,000 feet and located approximately 40 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, has been blanketed in snow due to recent storms. Huang, a resident of the suburban El Monte, was reported missing just before midnight on February 4. She had embarked on a solo hike at around 2 p.m. and her last known contact was around 4 p.m. on the same day.
The search efforts were impeded by heavy snowfall and the risk of avalanches, forcing the search crews to retreat from the mountain. Mount Baldy, notorious for its winter hazards, claimed the lives of several hikers last year, including notable actor Julian Sands.