News Release

Fatality in White Sands National Park

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Date: July 6, 2021
Contact: Kelly Carroll, 575-479-6124 ext. 230

ALAMOGORDO – At approximately 11 pm, July 4, White Sands National Park rangers initiated a search and rescue after locating an unoccupied vehicle in the park. At 4:40 pm, July 5, search and rescue teams discovered a deceased male located off-trail at White Sands National Park.  

New Mexico State Police identified the male as Jeffrey Minshew, 63, of Moriarty, NM. The National Park Service is coordinating with the New Mexico State Police, the lead investigative agency, to investigate the incident. Further information is currently not available. No foul play is suspected at this time.

During the extreme summer heat, it is critical to be prepared and know your limitations. For summer hiking at White Sands, the park recommends starting in the coolest part of the day, early morning or early evening. We recommend that visitors not start a hike when the temperature is at or above 85 degrees F. There is no shade or water along any of the trails in the park.

We also recommend that hikers bring at least one gallon of water per person per day and high­ energy snacks. Wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and long pants to help protect skin from the sun. Always have a plan when you hike, carry a cell phone, and tell someone who is not in your party where you are hiking and when you plan to return.

White Sands National Park would like to thank White Sands Missile Range, Holloman AFB, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New Mexico State Police, New Mexico Department of Game & Fish, Otero County law enforcement and EMS, Organ Mountain Technical Rescue Squad, Alamo West Fire Rescue, Alamogordo SAR, Mesilla Valley SAR, Doña Ana County SAR, and Chavez County SAR for their assistance in search and recovery operation. 

More information on safety precautions, as well as active safety alerts, can be found here: and the NPS Mobile App.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

Last updated: July 6, 2021

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Holloman AFB , NM 88330


575 479-6124

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