Hiker's body found at base of California waterfall after 80-foot fall, officials say

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Robert Carey Jr., 33, of Calimesa, was hiking at the San Bernardino National Forest when he fell, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

A California man died after falling 80 feet while hiking at the San Bernardino National Forest, officials said this week.

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The body of Robert Carey Jr., 33, of Calimesa, was recovered Sunday by a rescue team at the base of the Big Falls Waterfall, according to a statement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

“Investigators estimated Carey dropped approximately 80 feet,” the agency said.

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The sheriff’s department was first alerted to Carey’s disappearance on Saturday after learning he had not returned from a hike at San Gorgonio Peak. Carey’s family told investigators he was an experienced hiker but had never hiked the peak.

Soon after, the sheriff’s department said, dispatchers received additional calls from witnesses who said someone was yelling for help in the Forest Falls area. That prompted a rescue effort that included sheriff’s department personnel and county firefighters.

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A sheriff’s helicopter spotted a man at the base of the waterfall who was later identified as Carey, authorities said.

A helicopter crew member was hoisted down to the base of the waterfall, according to the sheriff’s department.

The effort to recover his body was deemed dangerous and postponed until daylight hours, officials said..

No one with Carey’s family could be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

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