A 67-year-old San Francisco man was found dead Tuesday night in Death Valley, ending a week-long search following his disappearance while on a bicycling tour.
George Kohler, a personal trainer and avid cyclist, disappeared around 8 p.m. on March 12, the first day of a five-day bicycle tour. He told his companions that he was feeling tired and walked away from a campfire, never to be seen alive again.
There was no indication Kohler ever went to sleep in his tent. His bike and overnight gear were found at the camp.
Authorities found his body Tuesday night on a 1-1/2 mile stretch of desert in the northern part of the park. Cpl. Terry Watterbury, a Sheriff’s Department search and rescue coordinator told SFGate:
“It appears that Mr. Kohler left the campfire and took off cross-country on foot.This is a very tragic situation.”
Since his disappearance, search and rescue teams had been looking for Kohler using helicopters, foot patrols and specially trained dogs.
The cause of death won’t be known until the completion of an autopsy, though Roper confirmed that there were no signs of foul play.
According to his Facebook profile, Kohler had been a personal trainer for older adults since 2002. Doris Engibous, a friend of Kohler’s, told SFGate:
“It is a horrible thing that has happened. It appears he died peacefully, doing what he loved. Cycling was his passion. We should all be so lucky.”