Body of apparent flash flood victim found

By Hal Eisner:

As kids play in the San Gabriel River and hikers trek the canyon trails, a chopper takes the body of a man found near the river to the coroner's office. It's believed he was killed during a recent flash flood.

The discovery was made just after 5 p.m. Saturday on the Prairie Fork Road hiking trail about 3/12 miles north of Heaton Flats and south of the Bridge to Nowhere, Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Vicky Gregory said.

The hiker that found the body contacted his girlfriend who called the sheriff's department, Gregory said.

"They found him at '4 miles' is what they call it," said Mark Yelton.

Yelton has managed the Camp Williams Resort for the past 17 years. It's just a few miles from where the body was found.

"It's tragic and it wasn't necessary," Yelton added. "We've had other deaths here in the river and none of them were necessary."

He said hikers need to be aware when there's a threat of rain in the area, and find high ground when there are dark skies.

Deputy Sheriff Matthew Bodell said rescuers have no idea who the dead man was. He had no identification and no clothes, which can happen in a river.

Bodell said it will be up to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office to determine the man's identity and cause of death.

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