ARCADIA (CBSLA.com) — The Ventura County Coroner ruled Tuesday morning that an Arcadia firefighter’s death was accidental, caused by blunt force injury.
A two-week search for Michael Herdman came to a close last Friday when officials found his body in the Sepse Wilderness, near Fillmore.
Herdman and his dog, Duke, had been backpacking with fellow firefighter, Taylor Byars, in the rugged terrain.
The 36-year-old reportedly ran off barefoot to chase after Duke, wearing only board shorts and a t-shirt.
Byars searched for Herdman for nearly two days before he made his way out of the wilderness and reported his friend missing.
Crews spent days searching on the ground and by air for any signs of Herdman and his dog.
Duke was found alive 12 miles from where Herdman’s body was found Friday.
Herdman was a beloved husband, father, and seven-year veteran of the Arcadia Fire Department.
Toxicology reports were still pending.