LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Searchers have found the body of a veteran hiker who vanished while climbing a 10,000-foot peak northeast of Los Angeles.

Seuk “Sam” Kim, 78, had hiked to the top of Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains nearly 800 times before he went missing last week. His car was found near a trailhead.

Coroner’s officials on Wednesday confirmed that a body retrieved a day earlier on the mountain’s north side was Kim’s.

Kim started his ascent on Friday. It rained on the mountain over the weekend and temperatures dropped to the 30s at night.

Authorities say Kim was an experienced hiker who carried food, water and appropriate clothing.

Kim – who moved with his family from South Korea to Southern California in 1981 – told a Los Angeles Times reporter while hiking last December, “I’m feeling God’s embrace. This is better than church.”

He was known for being irrepressible on the trail, handing out jelly beans and Doritos, demanding other hikers pose for selfies and chatting with everyone he met, according to the Times.

The cause of his death is under investigation.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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