After going on a camping trip in the Death Valley National Park with his girlfriend, authorities have pronounced the missing Arizona Congressional staffer dead.
According to PEOPLE, Alexander Lofgren, 32, went missing earlier this week during the trip. He was found dead by the Inyo County Search and Rescue Team on a “remote and steep ledge.”
His girlfriend, Emily Henkel, 27, was also found. She was transported by air for medical treatment, the sheriff’s office stated. Her condition is unknown.
Authorities have not provided details on what transpired.
The local sheriff’s office was alerted that the “experienced campers” were reported potentially missing on Tuesday evening after they hadn’t returned home on their scheduled Sunday, April 4 date.
Authorities found their white Subaru around 11 AM Thursday with a note that read: “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water.”
Aerial rescue teams found them around 4 PM Friday.
A hoist operation was attempted, but due to the extreme location, the two team members who rappelled down were unable to reach Lofgren and Henkel,” the sheriff’s office reported.
A second attempt was successful in removing them from the ledge around 6:15 PM.
“This has been a tremendously difficult operation in a very unforgiving geographic area of Inyo County, I sincerely hope for healing and recovery for all involved,” Inyo County Sheriff Jeff Hollowell said in a statement.
Lofgren was a Congressional staffer for Rep. Raul Grijalva. The Rep. released a statement on Friday saying he was “heartbroken” over the tragedy and death of Lofgren.
“Alex lived a life of service and always put the needs of others first,” the statement reads. “After serving our country in Afghanistan, he came home to Arizona to serve veterans right here in Southern Arizona as a caseworker in my office. The passion he dedicated to his work each day touched countless lives. No matter the situation, Alex met those he helped with a smiling face, a caring heart, and an unrivaled empathy.”