News Release

Accidental Death at Saline Valley Warm Springs

A low stone barrier with a sign that reads, "Source Pool", surrounds a round pool of water. Two small palms are behind the pool.
Palm Springs source pool, Saline Valley Warm Springs, Death Valley National Park


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News Release Date: January 15, 2021

Contact: Abby Wines

DEATH VALLEY, CA – Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service report an accidental death of a man at Saline Valley Warm Springs on December 20, 2020. Donald Vanneman III was a 63-year-old resident of San Francisco.

Warm Springs Campground, along with all other Death Valley National Park campgrounds, is temporarily closed due to California’s Regional Stay at Home Orders. The volunteer campground host noticed Mr. Vanneman’s vehicle, but was unable to find him early on December 20. Later that day, two park visitors discovered his body in the Palm Springs source pool.

National Park Service regulations prohibit entry directly into the source pool at Palm Springs. Bathing is normally allowed in the man-made soaking tubs, however those are currently drained and closed due to COVID restrictions.

Last updated: January 15, 2021

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