Missing US man found dead after Smuggler’s Flat search

Image copyright Jamie Dias Image caption Dias was reported missing by his father on Monday The body of a missing man has been found after he went missing while hiking in Grand Teton National…

Missing US man found dead after Smuggler's Flat search

Image copyright Jamie Dias Image caption Dias was reported missing by his father on Monday

The body of a missing man has been found after he went missing while hiking in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Erik Bergh, from Grand Forks, North Dakota, left a message saying he was “seeking his mama”, and his phone was still working, rescuers said.

An air and ground search was underway on Monday night, and the man’s body was found by late Tuesday evening.

Mr Bergh’s father reported him missing on Monday after he failed to return to the Smuggler’s Flat campground.

‘My son needed me’

Police said Mr Bergh left his campground in the Smuggler’s Flat area, located on the east side of the park, at 12:45pm on Sunday, leaving the names of his parents written on his hiking boots,

He said he would be staying with his father in the park but left a note telling his father he needed help.

Mr Bergh’s message to his mother in Minneapolis read: “Dad, please make sure my car is in the driveway before I leave my room.

“I still need you to make dinner, shower and make breakfast. I’ll get back to you later.”

He had followed the Idaho Trail in the park, which is considered to be one of the most difficult in North America.

Erik Bergh’s mother Wendy is said to be struggling to come to terms with her son’s disappearance.

“I just need my son back. I’m hoping and praying this doesn’t happen,” she said, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

Dozens of police and rescue teams from Wyoming, Idaho, Canada and Minnesota were involved in the search for the 32-year-old, whose car had not been found by Monday evening.

“I can’t stress enough how foolish it is for anyone to leave a message like that,” Christopher Tovey, the chief ranger at Grand Teton National Park, said.

Image copyright Grand Teton National Park Image caption The Smuggler’s Flat campground is located on the east side of the Grand Teton National Park

“Doing so increases the risk that someone will come across that note,” he added.

Rescuers said that Erik Bergh – whose listed job was head of operations at a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota – had appeared to be heading into the park alone at the time of his disappearance.

The park was hit by a snowstorm on Sunday, which had limited the visibility and ability to search, but light has since returned and search teams have returned to the Smuggler’s Flat area.

Image copyright YouTube Image caption The last known sighting of Erik Bergh was on Sunday evening when he left this message

Image copyright Grand Teton National Park Image caption Grand Teton National Park was hit by snow on Sunday which has hampered the search

“We have to move quickly to locate anyone who goes missing in the forest,” Mr Tovey said.

He described the Smuggler’s Flat area as a popular hiking location, but one with “challenging terrain”.

It has been difficult to reach by snowmobile in recent years because the scenery is so rare, he added.

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