Body on Camelback Mountain identified as missing hiker
Eric Fernandes was last seen 5/31/14
Police are looking for this man, who was seen with Eric Fernandes as he bought water. Fernandes' family does not recognize him.
UPDATE: A body found near the top of a Phoenix mountain has been identified as a 23-year-old Seattle man who went missing after going on a weekend hike.
Maricopa County officials said Wednesday that the Medical Examiner's Office used dental records to identify the body as that of Eric Fernandes.
They say the cause and manner of death are pending.
The body was found Tuesday evening in the Echo Canyon area of Camelback Mountain.
Fernandes was last seen Saturday by other hikers, who said he was alone and apparently surprised by the difficulty of the hike.
The search for Fernandes began Sunday after his father reported him missing.
Phoenix Fire Department officials say hikers reported finding the body about 200 feet from the peak in rugged terrain dotted with brush.
FOX 10's earlier story is below. -------- 23 year-old Eric Fernandes's family is now here from Seattle after a few days of searching and no sign of the missing hiker. They got news they didn't want to hear, police were calling off the search Tuesday morning.
"How can I as a mother go without my son, I have come to take my son, I have come to take my son with me, and I just want everyone to help me locate my son so I can take him home," said Sandra Fernandes.
This morning Fernandes's brothers searched the mountain too.
"We have lost precious time because of the heat, but when the temperatures go down they don't have a second rescue team in succession to take advantage of the cooler temperature. I honestly cannot understand; that is a shame," said Max Fernandes.
Police say crews have searched everywhere they can reach on foot.
"We don't know where he is, and we are not going to further risk firefighters and search & rescue efforts to go places that we can humanely just not go," said Sgt. Trent Crump.
Fernandes was in town with his father visiting a friend. On Saturday, he told his dad he wanted to hike Camelback Mountain. When he didn't return, his father came looking for him and found his car in the Echo Canyon parking lot.
On Tuesday, the family continued their pleas for help.
"I am pretty sure there are mothers out there, there are parents out there who know what my husband and I are going through," said Sandra.
"Please help us take our son back to Washington, I just ask to find him, I can't even think the thoughts that he's been alone in this place for two to three nights," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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