Body found on Phoenix mountain tentatively ID'd as missing hiker

Eric Fernandes, 23, was visiting family in the Phoenix area and was last seen Saturday having lunch with his father before a hike on Camelback Mountain. Source: Phoenix Police Department/KPHO

PHOENIX -- A body found near the top of a Phoenix mountain has been tentatively identified by police as a 23-year-old Seattle man who went missing after going on a weekend hike.

Police Sgt. Trent Crump says the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office will confirm whether the body recovered from Echo Canyon late Tuesday is that of missing hiker Eric Fernandes.

Fernandes was last seen Saturday by other hikers, who said Fernandes was alone and apparently surprised by the difficulty of the hike on Camelback Mountain.

Fernandes was the subject of a search that was halted just hours before the body was found late Tuesday afternoon.

Fire Department officials said hikers reported finding the body about 200 feet from the peak in rugged terrain dotted with brush.

CBS affiliate KPHO reports that volunteer hikers focused on an area one of their members had a gut feeling about. Three hours into their search Tuesday, the hikers got close enough to the steep, rocky area and saw what they feared.

"We were hoping for something a little different - a lot different," said John Clever, one of the volunteer hikers.

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