San Francisco News

Missing SF bicyclist found dead in Death Valley

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A San Francisco bicyclist who was reported missing last week in Death Valley National Park was found dead Tuesday, a local sheriff's spokeswoman said.

George Kohler, 67, had last been seen around 8 p.m. on March 12 at a campfire with members of his bicycle tour group at the Mesquite Spring campground, according to the Inyo County Sheriff's Department.

Other members of the group said Kohler left the campfire saying he was tired, and did not meet up the next morning with the rest of the group. Group members opened up his tent and did not find him or any indication that he had slept there, sheriff's officials said.

Rescuers began searching the area last week, and Kohler was found dead late Tuesday afternoon between the Mesquite Spring campground and Scotty's Castle Road in the national park, sheriff's spokeswoman Carma Roper said.

"It appears that Mr. Kohler left the campfire and took off cross-county on foot," sheriff's search-and-rescue coordinator Cpl. Terry Waterbury said in a statement. "This is a very tragic situation."

Foul play is not suspected in the death. An autopsy has been scheduled with the Inyo County coroner to determine Kohler's cause of death.

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