JOHN MUIR

Missing UCLA Grad Student Found Dead in John Muir Wilderness


A 25-year-old UCLA student who went missing after going hiking about 200 miles north of Los Angeles earlier this month was found dead on Saturday, coroner’s officials confirmed.

Michael David Myers, who drove away in his 2002 Gray Dodge Durango, was last seen Nov. 4.

His body was found southwest of Mt. Whitney in an area called John Muir Wilderness, according to the Inyo County Coroner’s office.

His friend, Peicheng Yu, said the last time he saw Myers, the hiker was showing him where he was planning to go on his excursion to Mount Whitney in Inyo County.

Yu said Myers showed him a live webcam site showing snowed-in, cloud-shrouded mountains. Myers reassured his friend he would be totally prepared when Yu said it looked dangerous. After five days, Yu didn’t hear from his friend.

When Myers didn’t show up the weekend of Nov. 14 for an important project meeting in Georgia, Yu and his colleagues took action.

With the permission of Myers’ family, they hacked into their colleague’s laptop. His search history indicated he was planning a possible “off-road” foray into the nearby Mojave Desert.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search for Myers. The clues they had included a gasoline, water and protein bar purchase on Myers’ credit card on Nov. 5.

Sheriff’s officials said Myers’ vehicle was found abandoned on a side road near the entrance to the Mount Whitney trail days later.

Yu said Myers was passionate, and dedicated to the plasma physics project they’re working on at UCLA.

The cause of death was under investigation.

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