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Body of man found below the North Rim of Grand Canyon identified

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Date: September 24, 2009
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 9298-638-7779

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The body of a man found deceased in an area below the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park near the Toroweap Valley, has been identified as that of 39 year-old Thomas Peake of Atlanta, Georgia.   

Grand Canyon National Park rangers located Peake on the lower end of the Lava Falls Route during an aerial search Tuesday morning, after his wife reported him overdue. 

According to his wife, Thomas Peake had planned on hiking to the Colorado River and back on Monday, a round-trip distance of approximately three miles.  When he failed to return by dusk that evening, his wife drove from the Toroweap Valley to Fredonia, Arizona, to report him overdue.

Two rangers responded to the trailhead that night to set up a containment area and to stage for an early morning search.  Thomas Peake’s body was discovered during an aerial search Tuesday morning on the lower end of the Lava Falls Route, just off trail.  His body was recovered and transported by helicopter to Kingman, Ariz., then transported to the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office.  The Mohave County Medical Examiner has determined that Thomas Peake died from injuries sustained in a fall.  Park rangers estimate that he fell approximately 15 feet. 

Although the Lava Falls Route is one of the shortest routes from the rim to the river, it is a hot steep and difficult route with loose talus slopes made up of volcanic rock with an elevation change from rim to river of more than 2500 feet.  The trailhead is approximately three miles south of the Tuweep Campground, in a remote area of the Grand Canyon.  Tuweep is a five hour drive from the North Rim developed area.    

-NPS-

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