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Hiker dies after trying to find family's way back to trailhead

A 62-year-old hiker from Alabama died after he and his his family got lost trekking through a slot canyon in southern Utah.
A 62-year-old hiker from Alabama died after he and his his family got lost trekking through a slot canyon in southern Utah.
Fotolia via Adobe Stock

ESCALANTE, Garfield County — A 62-year-old hiker from Alabama died after he and his family got lost trekking through a slot canyon near Hole-in-the-Rock Road in southern Utah.

Lane Friedman and his wife and their two children had decided to turn back after reaching a rocky section in the Spooky Gulch area of Kane County during a hike Tuesday, but made some wrong turns on their return, according to a prepared statement from the Kane County Sheriff's Office.

The children were feeling ill from the heat, so they and their mother sat in the shade to rest while Friedman tried to climb a hill in order to spot the trail back to their car at the Dry Fork trailhead. It was the last time they saw him, police said.

After some rest, Friedman's wife and children were eventually able to find their way to the trailhead, where they borrowed a phone from other hikers to call for help about 7 p.m., the sheriff's statement said.

A Garfield County officer arrived, but it was dark and unsafe for a ground search, the Kane sheriff's office said. The Department of Public Safety sent a helicopter to search Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

The helicopter found Friedman's body about 1 p.m., and flew his body to Escalante.

State medical examiners are working to determine the cause of his death.