Orange County hiker who was reported missing has been found dead

A hiker who was reported missing Friday has been found dead, Orange County Sheriff officials reported Saturday. 

According to the sheriff's department, 63-year-old Jeffrey Paul Morton left his home Friday, Dec. 30 around 2:30 a.m. to go hiking in Carbon Canyon Regional Park. 

He was expected to return home around 6 a.m. but officials say he never did. Morton apparently does this hike daily. 

His vehicle, a white 2004 Acura MDX, was located at the corner of Brea Hills Drive and Carbon Canyon Road. 

On Saturday, the sheriff's department reported that Morton's body was found around 4 p.m. after searchers were made aware of the specific route he used to hike, sheriff's Sgt. Scott Steinle said. 

He was found a short distance from the start of the route.

It did not appear Morton was the victim of foul play, the sergeant said, but homicide detectives and the Orange County coroner's office are investigating.