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Authorities Believe Texas Hiker Found Dead Succumbed To The Heat

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Texas heat may have claimed another life, this time an adult at Big Bend National Park.

Authorities say a 54-year-old Houston-area man appeared to have succumbed to the heat and died while hiking alone.

The park superintendent said the body of Richard Merrill of Friendswood was found Tuesday about a quarter-mile off a trail.

Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park lies on the border between Texas and Mexico, encompassing half of the Rio Grand River. (credit:

Officials says there were no signs Merrill suffered a fall or other trauma, and that he likely was overcome by humidity and temperatures that reached 106 degrees that day.

Park rangers began searching for Merrill after finding his vehicle parked at a trailhead with a note he left saying he intended to return by a certain time.

Health workers say people hiking in temperatures that high can quickly become dehydrated because they lose more moisture to sweat and evaporation than can be replenished by drinking water.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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