Reporting Tom Reopelle
SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Efforts to recover the body of a missing Southland hiker were on hold Wednesday after a tragic discovery.
KNX 1070′s Tom Reopelle reports the family of the 25-year-old Guillermo Pino has confirmed his body has been discovered in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
The University of California San Diego student was found trapped in a nearly 60-foot crevice more than three weeks after he disappeared near Borrego Springs.
Pino’s body was located when private investigator Bill Garcia lowered a special camera more than 40 feet down a mud cave to search the deep, dark crevices of the park where he was reported missing on April 8 during a family outing.
“The camera came to rest at the bottom on his right shoulder, and as the camera was pulled back, you were able to see him from his waist up to above his head,” said Garcia.
While Garcia did confirm the body as Pino, he said the cave is so unstable that any extraction effort will require specialized equipment and personnel.
“It appears that he fell feet first, at one point he either hit bottom or his shoulders were broad enough to actually hold him in a particular position, and then the debris that was knocked down around him actually filled up to about his waist,” he said.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department requested a highly-specialized recovery team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to help extract the body, but the operation has been suspended after the cave was deemed too unstable.