The body of a missing hiker was found Monday night near Granite Mountain in the Snoqualmie Pass area, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Kumaraswami “Kumar” Rao, 55, appeared to have died of hypothermia from environmental exposure, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday.
Rao began hiking alone early Sunday morning on Denny Creek Trail, which is off Interstate 90 just west of Snoqualmie Pass. He was carrying a camera and tripod with him and told his family he’d be home no later than noon, according to the sheriff’s office.
The family called 911 when Rao hadn’t returned by 2:30 p.m.
The Denny Creek Trail is popular among hikers and families, who typically stop and turn around after reaching the natural water slides, but also may continue on the 6-mile roundtrip hike, according to the Washington Trails Association. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott said hikers have been known to get lost in the area.
More than 60 sheriff’s deputies and search-and-rescue team members looked for Rao in an area that Abbott said was larger than the city of Seattle. At around 9 p.m. Monday, searchers found a body located off the trail that matched Rao’s description. He had hiked about 6 miles in and appeared to have taken some wrong turns, Abbott said.