NEW YORK – Teams searching over the weekend in Washington state found a body believed to be that of Yosuke Onishi, a hiker from Saga Prefecture missing since November when he attempted to climb Mount St. Helens alone.
Onishi was last seen on Nov. 27 when he left his hotel planning to climb to the top of the 2,550-meter-high mountain. Authorities began to search for him when he did not return. The search was called off after two weeks.
Search and rescue teams from 13 agencies combed 23 sq. km to find the male body and items believed to be Onishi’s on Saturday. The remains lay off a usual climbing route at around a 2,100-meter elevation.
Undersheriff Dave Cox of the Skamania County Sherriff’s office said authorities chose to do a final search for the missing hiker on the weekend as the weather was good and snow levels had receded.
The area where he was found was previously searched by helicopter but according to Cox snow had probably hidden him from view at the time.
The Clark County Medical Examiner is working to verify the identity of the victim and the cause of death.