The Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed the body found on the south side of Camelback Mountain late Tuesday afternoon is a missing hiker from Washington.
Maricopa County officials said the Medical Examiner’s Office used dental records to identify the body as that of 23-year-old Eric Fernandes. They said the cause and manner of his death are pending.
Eric Fernandes, of Seattle, was last seen leaving for a hike on the mountain on Saturday.
Fernandes told his father that he was going to hike Camelback Mountain on Saturday. Fernandes had been visiting the Phoenix area with his father, and wanted to hike the mountain before returning to Seattle.
Fernandes’ father reported him missing Sunday and authorities began the search.
Officials called of the search at 12 p.m. Tuesday, saying the heat was a concern for rescue workers. Temperatures are in the triple digits in Phoenix.
On Tuesday, the family continued their pleas for help.
“I am pretty sure there are mothers out there, there are parents out there who know what my husband and I are going through,” said Eric’s mother, Sandra Fernandes.
“Please help us take our son back to Washington, I just ask to find him, I can’t even think the thoughts that he’s been alone in this place for two to three nights,” she said.
Investigators found Fernandes’ car at a Camelback trailhead and have recovered receipts that show he bought a hydration backpack and some water, but police don’t know how much water he had or how long it would last. Police tell KSAZ in Phoenix that Fernandes’ cellphone died on Saturday.
Tuesday morning Fernandes’ brothers searched the mountain, too.
“We have lost precious time because of the heat, but when the temperatures go down, they don’t have a second rescue team in succession to take advantage of the cooler temperature. I honestly cannot understand; that is a shame,” said Max Fernandes.