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Body found on Mount Hood identified as missing hiker

The search for missing hiker, David Yaghmourian, continued on Mount Hood on Oct. 11, 2018. KATU photo and photo courtesy Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

The body of a man found on Mount Hood Thursday morning has been identified as 30-year-old David Yaghmourian, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said during an afternoon briefing.

Yaghmourian was last seen Monday when a hiking partner said he stopped to rest at the eastern junction of the Timberline Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. The friend said he continued on to Timberline Lodge, but Yaghmourian never caught up with him.

Search and rescue crews had been searching for Yaghmourian since he was reported missing.

A Clackamas County deputy said a climber who was not a member of a search team found the body around 8:40 a.m. The body was located near the 8,300-foot level of the mountain, about a half-mile east of Silcox Hut.

The sheriff’s office said crews searched up to the 5,800-foot level of the mountain, but did not continue to higher elevations because they didn’t see any signs that Yaghmourian had continued climbing.

The body was found outside the search area.

The sheriff's office said a cause of Yaghmourian's death has not yet been determined, but it appeared he died from hypothermia and may have also fallen 30 feet. They said he may have been trying to set up a tent before he died. There did not appear to be anything suspicious about how he died.

Deputies said it appeared he made a wrong turn and began gaining elevation. His friend told investigators that Yaghmourian had a knee injury and it was easier for him to hike uphill rather than downhill.

The climber who discovered the body said it was not easy to see until he was close to it.

Yaghmourian was from Glendale, Arizona and was a graduate student at Arizona State University.

Moriah Berthrong, from Mountain Wave Search & Rescue, was one member of the search teams looking for Yaghmourian on Thursday.

"There are a lot of little trails in that area, and it can be hard to tell which is the main trail and which is another trail going off," Berthrong said.

Berthrong suggests all hikers carry some kind of GPS device other than their cellphones, and also know that inclement weather can quickly impact your ability to survive, no matter how prepared.

"If you start getting cold and hypothermic, that also causes your brain to slow down -- you’re not thinking as clearly, and you often don’t recognize that you aren’t, and so you can easily just become turned around and be going a different trail than you thought you were on," Berthrong said.

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