Authorities identified the body of a 31-year-old local man who went missing near Mount Langley in the Sierra Nevada on Sunday, officials said.
Thomas Heng of San Rafael was last seen on July 22, at 1 p.m., while on a day hike to Mount Langley. His body was identified in the Inyo National Forest, as part of search-and-rescue operations, according to National Park Service spokeswoman Dana Dierkes. The incident is under investigation. The time and cause of death is not known at this time.
Heng and a few others spent the weekend hiking up White Mountain Peak in Mono County on Saturday, camped over night and then headed to Mt. Langley on Sunday. Danny Cain, one of Heng's hiking companions, reported Heng missing on Monday after he failed to return to their meeting spot.
Cain dropped off Heng and two other hikers at the trail head early Sunday morning. Heng's companions took a different trail and reached the summit of Mt. Langley before him, Cain said.
His companions waited, but stormy weather made them turn back as Heng continued on to the summit. A hiking companion saw him last in an area about 13,000 feet up on the 14,023-foot Mt. Langley, said Dierkes.
"We waited for him until dark on Sunday, but we didn't panic yet because there was a nearby camp site," Cain said. However, no one at the campsite or in nearby Lone Pine, Calif. had seen Heng.
"That's when we knew it was serious and reported it to the sheriff," Cain said.
Night time temperatures in Inyo and Tulare counties were between 32 and 37 degrees when Heng was missing, Dierkes said. His body was sent to the Inyo coroner's office for an autopsy.
His Facebook page depicts Heng as an outdoors enthusiast, who enjoyed snowboarding and scaled peaks all over California and the world, including Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Aconcagua in Argentina and eight of California's "Fourteener" peaks (peaks that exceed 14,000 feet above sea level).
"He was very ambitious and always talked about how he wanted to climb all the California Fourteeners," said Cain, who went to Yosemite and hiked in Marin with Heng and his wife, Petra.
In his meetup profile, Heng described himself as "a very outdoorsy person" who "is never home on weekends."
A San Francisco native, Heng moved with his wife to San Rafael a few months ago. Petra asked that everyone respect the family's privacy.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.