Hiker found dead in Siskiyou County

Yreka, Calif. — Authorities are looking into how a hiker died in Siskiyou County.

The victim was said to be an experienced hiker.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey says winter conditions and unpredictable weather make it crucial to be ready for all situations.

“Unfortunate. It appears he may have had an accident,” said Deputy Joe Hopper, recounting a rescue mission that turned into a recovery effort after a Quartz Valley man was found dead two miles from the Kidder creek trailhead.

The family of 55-year-old Kevin Rickey became concerned when he failed to return home.

“Family members told me that his coat was found quite a ways away from him and when you get hypothermic you start shedding layers,” Deputy Hopper said.

Rickey was found soaking wet by family members in a foot of snow.

Whether he died from hypothermia remains unanswered.

“What we’ve seen this time of the year is people just don’t anticipate the changing weather conditions,” explains Sheriff Jon Lopey who says hikers need to be cautious and prepared.

He suggests proper footwear, winter layers, water, food, a flashlight, and a charged cell phone.

But most importantly he says, “always advise your relatives or your friends or your significant others where you’re going, what time you’re leaving, what time you’re planning to return, and also what your route will be.”

Rickey did just that.

In fact, he was a very experienced hiker.

“He’s a very avid outdoorsman. Everybody that knows him says he’s out in the mountains more than he’s anywhere else,” Deputy Hopper said.

Investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong.

Sheriff Lopey urges hikers to bring along a companion when hiking in remote areas.

“But I think the best piece of advice this time of the year is just avoid going into these remote areas because those areas are the most likely to have impassable roads and trails and snow and ice and other dangerous conditions that may get you in trouble,” Sheriff Lopey said.

NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Elizabeth Ruiz was raised in Northern Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication. She also minored in Spanish and studied in Spain. While at Colorado State, she was an anchor and reporter for CTV Channel 11.

Elizabeth loves Zumba dancing, singing and spending time with her family.

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