Body of hiker missing for 10 days found in Joshua Tree desert, officials say

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A California man was found dead in the open desert 10 days after he vanished in Joshua Tree National Park, officials said.

Joseph John Alvarez Espinosa’s body was found Wednesday in open desert near Twentynine Palms, the San Bernardino County Coroner said. He was 20 years old and lived in Oceanside.

“The incident is being investigated by the National Parks Service and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department,” the coroner said in a news release.

Missing hiker at Joshua Tree National Park hasn’t been seen in 9 days, officials say

On May 16, Espinosa was dropped off at Joshua Tree by a family member, according to the National Park Service.

“Park staff became aware that he may be in the park on Sunday, May 23, and began a search that day,” park officials said. “He is believed to be alone.”

National Park Service officials said they initiated a missing person search Sunday to find Espinosa, who was last seen walking into the desert with a canteen.

Joshua Tree has “few facilities” and covers 800,000 acres of desert land. Elevation greatly varies in the park, ranging from 536 feet to 5,814 feet, and the weather can change quickly.

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