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Aide to Arizona congressman found dead in Death Valley National Park

3 years 3 months 1 week ago Monday, April 12 2021 Apr 12, 2021 April 12, 2021 5:03 AM April 12, 2021 in News
Source: CNN
Alexander Lofgren, an aide to Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, was found dead during a camping trip to Death Valley on Thursday, April 8, 2021, days after he and his girlfriend were reported missing.

The body of an Arizona congressional aide was discovered in a remote area of Death Valley, just days after he and his girlfriend were reported missing during a camping trip, CNN reports.

Alexander Lofgren, 32, and 27-year old Emily Henkel, both from Tuscon, were found on a steep ledge Thursday via aerial reconnaissance, according to local officials.

While Henkel was found alive, Lofgren had already passed away.

The Inyo County Sheriff's Office issued a release, stating, "A hoist operation was attempted, but due to the extreme location the two team members who rappelled down were unable to reach Lofgren and Henkel." 

Officials say Henkel was quickly flown out for medical treatment.

Inyo County Sheriff Jeff Hollowell spoke of the challenges that officials faced while searching for the couple, "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."

The two were reported missing April 6 after they didn't return from their camping trip on their due date of April 4. Both were experienced campers, the sheriff's office said.

Officials located the couples' missing Subaru on Thursday morning, the vehicle had a note on it that directed search and rescue crews to their location in the Willow Creek area of Death Valley.

According to the sheriff's office, the note said: "Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days' worth of water."

Authorities say an investigation to determine the cause and manner of Lofgren's death is underway.

Arizona Democrat Rep. Raúl Grijalva used social media to post his condolences, tweeting, "Words cannot begin to describe how heartbroken I am over the death of Alex Lofgren, a dedicated caseworker in my district office."

"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," Grijalva continued.

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