AP NEWS

Big Bend hiker, 54, found dead amid soaring temperatures

July 5, 2019

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a 54-year-old Houston-area man appeared to have succumbed to the heat and died while hiking alone this week at Big Bend National Park.

Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker says the body of Richard Merrill of Friendswood was found Tuesday about a quarter-mile off a trail.

Krumenaker says there were no signs Merrill suffered a fall or other trauma, and that he likely was overcome by humidity and temperatures that reached 106 degrees that day.

Park rangers began searching for Merrill after finding his vehicle parked at a trailhead with a note he left saying he intended to return by a certain time.

Krumenaker says people hiking in temperatures that high can quickly become dehydrated because they lose more moisture to sweat and evaporation than can be replenished by drinking water.

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