San Diego Police Department

Body found amid search for missing hiker on Black Mountain trail

The department held a news conference Monday to announce a body was found that matched the description of missing hiker Diem Le Nguyen

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San Diego police believe they have found the body of a 50-year-old woman who went missing on Sunday while hiking on Black Mountain amid the region's first heat wave of the summer.

The department held a news conference Monday to announce a body was found that matched the description of Diem Le Nguyen, who went missing while hiking the Nighthawk Trail at 9711 Oviedo Way. The Medical Examiner's office would determine if the body was indeed the missing hiker but a post on X announced Nguyen had been located and the search was over.

https://twitter.com/SanDiegoPD/status/1805304219047804990

"At this point, it's obviously a very painful moment for the family and friends," SDPD Lt. Daniel Meyer said. "It's really important for the community to come together and support this family as they go through this traumatic time."

Investigators said Nguyen started the hike with a group of 100 hikers participating in a 5K fundraiser for the Build a School Foundation. When the group stopped halfway up around 8 a.m., Nguyen went ahead and finished the trail alone, SDPD said.

At 9:30 a.m., she contacted the group, telling them she had reached the end of the trail. Then at 10:08 a.m., Nguyen contacted her sister to say she was tired and needed water.

When she did not make contact, she was reported missing. On Sunday night, search and rescue teams with more than 50 volunteers, search dogs and drones combed the mountain until dark.

"Worried, because we really need her. We really need her," William Do, Nguyen's family member told NBC 7.

Nguyen's disappearance came during San Diego County's first heat wave of the summer, with an excessive heat watch that was in effect for the mountains until Sunday at 8 p.m. The trail is listed on the hiking app AllTrails as an about 4 miles out-and-back trail near Poway. It's moderately challenging with about 850-foot elevation gain.

Meyer said the body was found off-trail just a quarter-mile from civilization.

https://twitter.com/SanDiegoPD/status/1805262314612121993
Searchers held a news conference Monday to announce a body was found that matched the description of missing hiker Diem Le Nguyen, reports NBC 7's Audra Stafford.

Several search teams responded immediately when the report came in that a hiker was missing amid the heat, Meyer said. Crews with San Diego Sheriff's Search and Rescue team, several helicpters, a search drone, K-9 units and park rangers all assisted. Despite tips, their efforts were unsuccessful and efforts were called off around 1 a.m.

On Monday, the search continued and officials asked the public to stay away from the area to not confuse the search dogs by adding more scents.

Officials were also able to get cellphone pings from Nguyen's cell phone, however, they said they were not finite but continued to attempt cell phone pings.

"We did send out a locator message through our SAR team to Diem. This is a capability that if a single button is pushed, when it appears on the screen, it shares live GPS data with our SAR team here. However, that was not activated," said SDPD Lt. Daniel Meyer.

The body was found around 9:15 a.m. Monday. A Medical Examiner would determine the identity, Meyer said.

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