Body of missing Hopewell hiker found in High Peaks Wilderness

New York forest rangers located the body of Hopewell resident Alex Stevens on Monday about half a mile from his campsite in the summit area of Wallface Mountain.

Stevens, 28, had last been seen by other hikers on Sept. 2.  He had set out for a three-day hike in the High Peaks Wilderness but was not prepared for overnight camping in the rugged terrain in rainy, cold fall weather, state forest rangers said.

State police told reporters at a press conference yesterday that Stevens’ body was discovered around 11 a.m. Monday. He did not have shelter. He was carrying supplies but did not have a compass or tools to start a fire. All his food and water was gone.

An autopsy will be performed to determine a cause and approximate time of his death, Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw told reporters. Officials said there was no visible trauma.

Forest rangers, K-9 units, state police and volunteers searched for Stevens for nine days, covering 300 miles. Stevens started his trip on the Labor Day weekend and was reported missing a week later when he didn’t show up for a meeting with friends in New York City.