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News Release

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Media Relations

Missing Hiker Found Dead Staggering Heat a Likely Factor in Hiker's Death NR10468kr

Los Angeles:  The body of missing hiker Sally Menke was discovered early this morning after a massive search was launched to find her.  Menke’s loyal Labrador retriever was found at her side and will recover from his long day in the canyon on the City’s hottest day in recorded history.

On September 27, 2010, at about 6:30 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Hollywood Division patrol officers responded to a critical missing person investigation in Griffith Park near the hiking trails in the 2800 block of Canyon Drive.  Menke, 56, set out on a hike with a friend Monday morning but turned back on her own when she began feeling fatigued from the heat.  She never returned to her car, which was locked in a parking lot, and she failed to contact family and friends.

The LAPD Metropolitan Division’s K-9 Unit, LAPD Air Support, Los Angeles Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue personnel and the Los Angeles City General Services Police assisted Hollywood  LAPD officers with the search.  Just before 2 a.m. this morning, Menke was found dead in a rugged area of Griffith Park north of the 5500 block of Green Oak Drive.

Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office staff also responded along with LAPD detectives and determined  there was no evidence of foul play.  It appears Menke had become disoriented due to the extreme heat, which was possibly a contributing factor in her death, but the official cause of death will be determined by the Coroner’s Office.

Hollywood homicide detectives are investigating the death as an apparent accidental/natural death.  For further information please contact LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-486-5910.

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