Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 – 12:14 PM
(CNS) – Authorities Wednesday confirmed that a body found on the north side of Mount Baldy was that of famed hiker Suek “Sam” Kim, who had scaled the mountain nearly 800 times.
Kim, 78, of Culver City, went hiking Friday and never returned home.
The body was located about 2:10 p.m. Tuesday by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department flight crew. The remains were in Los Angeles County, on the north side of the 10,064-foot mountain, and were identified by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
The investigation into Kim’s death was being handled by the sheriff’s San Dimas Station.
Eighteen search-and-rescue teams had been searching for Kim, who was described as an avid and experienced hiker.
After he was reported missing Sunday morning, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies found his car at Manker Flats, one of several trailheads to Mount Baldy.
Kim had a reputation for being irrepressible on the trail, handing out jelly beans and Doritos, demanding other hikers pose for selfies and chatting with everyone he met, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Speaking to a Times reporter while climbing the mountain in December, Kim said: “I’m feeling God’s embrace. This is better than church.”
Kim and his family moved from South Korea to Southern California in 1981.