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Custer County Search and Rescue crew found the body of a missing hiker

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Posted at 12:18 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 14:18:19-04

CUSTER COUNTY — The Custer County Search and Rescue crews have discovered the body of a missing hiker on Sunday.

On September 25 around 1:15 p.m., the Custer County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to check on an overdue hiker that was climbing the Crestone Needles, which is located in the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range in Saguache County.

According to the sheriff's office, because the access point to the Crestone Needles is in Custer County, it is routine for deputies to check on the status of climbers in this area.

According to the missing hiker’s family, the hiker, who has been identified as Jeffry Deardorff, had sent a photograph of his summit of the Crestone Needles at 11 a.m. on September 25th and they had not heard from him since then. Telephone pings were unsuccessful in locating Deardorff. Around 9:40 p.m. on September 26th, Deardorff's camp was located and there were signs he had not been there for hours.

On September 27th, the Custer County Search and Rescue team started a search for Deardorff with the help of a flight For life helicopter. Around 1:15 p.m., Search and Rescue personnel spotted an individual at the base of Crestone Peaks near Cottonwood Lake. Authorities say the person had suffered fatal injuries in what appeared to be a significant fall. The body was confirmed to be Jeffry Deardorff.

Authorities believe Deardorff was descending from the Crestone Peak summit when he fell approximately 1,000 feet to his death. There appear to be no suspicious circumstances.