Body of Tennessee man missing on Arizona hiking trip found

A Tennessee man reported missing on a hiking trip in Arizona to check out a large binocular telescope has been found dead, authorities said Tuesday.

Graham County Sheriff’s officials said the body of 50-year-old Pierre Romelus of La Vergne was located last week in the Grant Creek area near the Mount Graham International Observatory.

An autopsy was being done to determine the cause of death.

Sheriff’s officials said they received a call on Feb. 1 from Romelus’ wife that she had not heard from her husband for more than a day.

She said he was in southern Arizona and planned to hike up Mount Graham to see the large telescope.

Sheriff’s deputies located Romelus’ truck in the Shannon area of the mountain, but their search for the missing man was hampered by several days of bad weather.

Conditions improved by last Thursday and searchers found some clothing that led them to Romelus’ body, which was taken to the Pima County Medical Examiner’s office in Tucson.

Mount Graham is 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Safford, which is 127 miles (204 kilometers) east of Tucson.

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