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Missing hiker found dead in Fayston - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Missing hiker found dead in Fayston

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FAYSTON, Vt. -

Tragedy on the trails in Fayston. A missing 22-year-old hiker has been found dead off the Long Trail. Police say Monday night the hiker called his family for help saying he was drenched, cold and missing a shoe. They feared he may be hypothermic and tried to save him on their own.

"It's just a tragic event, it's terrible, and it's just too bad," said Capt. Bob Cushing of the Vermont State Police.

Police say the 22-year-old hiker headed out Monday for a 3-5 day trek. They tell us his journey started on the Hedgehog Trail off Big Basin Road in Fayston. His plan was to connect with the Long Trail 2 miles from his starting point. But around 10 p.m. that night, authorities say he called his dad.

"He reached out to family members via cellphone and basically said that he was cold and wet. Family members tried to guide him out of the woods via cellphone and initiated a search on their own looking for him," Cushing said.

Authorities say communication cut out between the hiker and his family, and his loved ones were unable to find him. Tuesday morning they called police for help.

"We initiated a search for the gentleman and late [Tuesday] afternoon a helicopter from the National Guard located him," Cushing said.

From the air, the hiker's body was spotted in the backcountry off the Long Trail. Investigators say he was carrying 70 pounds of gear prepared to camp overnight, but was not in a tent or shelter when rescuers found him dead. They say his equipment and experience may not have been enough for the conditions.

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