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Woman reported missing on Arizona hike found dead 3 days after sending text to husband that she had "gotten off route"

A woman reported missing last weekend while hiking in Cave Creek has been found dead, authorities said Wednesday. Maricopa County Sheriff's officials said the body of 60-year-old Kathleen Patterson was located around 8 a.m. and there was no apparent signs of foul play.

It will be up to the county medical examiner's office to determine the cause of death.

Authorities said a volunteer searcher discovered the body about 200 yards away from a trailhead in the popular Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in Cave Creek, a nearly 2,200-acre county park about 40 miles north of Phoenix.

Patterson's family said she was an avid hiker and was last seen leaving her residence to go hiking around 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

She sent her husband of 37 years a text message 2 ½ hours later to say she had gotten off the hiking route but was OK.

"She sent me a text at 10:02 a.m. that said specifically 'Hey babe, I've gotten off route. I'm OK. Plenty of water. All good,'" Steve Patterson told CBS affiliate KPHO-TV.

Sheriff's officials issued a missing person bulletin Sunday night after Patterson's car was found in the trailhead parking lot.

More than 200 volunteers searched the area on Tuesday, KPHO-TV reported.

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