SAN DIMAS (CBSLA.com) – The body of a hiker, believed to be a 78-year-old Culver City man who had scaled Mount Baldy nearly 800 times, was found Tuesday afternoon on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains’ highest peak.
Suek “Sam” Kim had gone hiking Friday and never returned home.READ MORE: Food Truck Crashes In Vernon; One Dead
The body was located about 2:10 p.m. by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department flight crew. The remains were in Los Angeles County, on the north side of the 10,064-foot mountain, authorities said.
Positive identification is pending and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will recover the body.
Eighteen search-and-rescue teams had been searching for Kim, who was described as an avid and experienced hiker.READ MORE: `Solidarity' Cited In New Deal For 40k Behind-the-Scenes Film & TV Workers
After he was reported missing Sunday morning, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies found his car at Manker Flats, one of several trailheads to Mount Baldy.
Kim had a reputation 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 Los Angeles Times.
Speaking to a Times reporter while climbing the mountain in December, Kim said: “I’m feeling God’s embrace. This is better than church.”
Kim and his family moved from South Korea to Southern California in 1981.MORE NEWS: Child, 18 Months, Killed in North Hills Crash
(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)