Body Discovered During Search Operation for Missing San Diego Hiker
Image By: NBC 7 San Diego

Body Discovered During Search Operation for Missing San Diego Hiker

One day after going missing on a route in a San Diego wilderness region, a woman thought to be a 50-year-old hiker went missing. Her body was discovered on Monday, according to authorities.

The hiker, named by the San Diego Police Department as Diem Le Nguyen, disappeared early on Sunday morning after getting split up from her hiking group of roughly a hundred hikers on the Nighthawk Trail in Black Mountain Open Space Park in the north San Diego neighborhood of Rancho Peñasquitos.

Monday morning, authorities said, a search chopper discovered a body in the same region where Nguyen was hiking.

Police stated they are awaiting the results of an autopsy and could not immediately confirm if the body found on Monday belongs to Nguyen.

Police stated that the search and rescue operation has now been replaced by a medical assessment.

Nguyen started the hike with a group at around 8 a.m. PT, according to the police. According to Lt. Daniel Meyer, a spokesman for the San Diego Police Department, at a news conference on Monday, the group made it almost halfway up the mountain before several of them made the decision to turn around and walk back down due to the heat.

Meyer stated that Nguyen made the independent decision to carry on with the mountain’s ascent.

According to Meyer, just after 10 a.m., Nguyen called family members from the trail’s end in distress, “stating that she was very hot and needed water.” According to Meyer, that was the last time anyone heard from her.

When authorities arrived on the area at 11:30 on Sunday morning, a search and rescue effort was started, involving the use of a helicopter crew from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

In an effort to locate Nguyen, police had sought the public for assistance and asked that anyone with information on her whereabouts contact 911 right away.

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Over the weekend, Nguyen and her company went hiking in the high temperatures that surrounded the San Diego region. In the area, where Sunday’s highs reached the low 90s, the National Weather Service had issued a heat advisory.

Although the heat caused several of the trekking group to retreat, according to the police, Nguyen was adamant about climbing the 4,048-foot-tall Black Mountain.

Nguyen was wearing black pants, a brown hat, sunglasses, a backpack, and a black blouse with a pink heart on the front when she vanished, according to the police.

Another hiker from California expressed gratitude to be alive as the hunt for Nguyen resumed on Monday. He had been lost for ten days in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California until being located last week by search and rescue teams.

Luke McClish, 34, of Boulder Creek, California, claimed that he didn’t tell anyone about his plans to go on what he believed would be a quick hike on June 11.

His disappearance during a Father’s Day dinner five days later prompted his family to file a missing person’s report. McClish said rescuers he lost thirty pounds over the ten days he was absent and survived by drinking a gallon of creek water every day until he was discovered at the bottom of a gully on Thursday.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.