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Missing Hiker, 51, Found Dead 30 Miles South Of Where Officials Believe He Drowned

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

PALMDALE (CBS) — Officials say they have found the body of a hiker who had been missing since Wednesday afternoon.

Thomas Hayes, 51, a correctional officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, liked to walk his dog along the aqueduct in Palmdale. The dog was found sitting near the man’s parked car Wednesday afternoon.

On occasion, Hayes told family members he sometimes had to fish the dog out of the aqueduct.

Authorities conducted a search in the immediate area and along the aqueduct for two days.  Divers were also called to check the waters. Police reportedly only found a gun and two stolen cars.

Hayes’ body was found yesterday at a pumping station about 30 miles south of where his car had been parked.

Sheriff’s Homicide Lieutenant John Corina, who also supervises missing persons cases, does not suspect foul play.

A preliminary investigation leads officials to the conclusion that Hayes died from an accidental drowning.

Officials want to remind the public that currents in the aqueduct are much stronger than they look and the water presents a clear hazard.

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