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Big Bend hiker, 54, found dead amid soaring temperatures

1 year 1 month 1 week ago Friday, July 05 2019 Jul 5, 2019 July 05, 2019 9:37 AM July 05, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (AP) - Authorities say a 54-year-old Houston-area man appeared to have succumbed to the heat and died while hiking alone this week at Big Bend National Park.

Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker says the body of Richard Merrill of Friendswood was found Tuesday about a quarter-mile off a trail.

Krumenaker says there were no signs Merrill suffered a fall or other trauma, and that he likely was overcome by humidity and temperatures that reached 106 degrees that day.

Park rangers began searching for Merrill after finding his vehicle parked at a trailhead with a note he left saying he intended to return by a certain time.

Krumenaker says people hiking in temperatures that high can quickly become dehydrated because they lose more moisture to sweat and evaporation than can be replenished by drinking water.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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