Search and rescue crews located the body of a hiker Dec. 6 on a steep southwest slope on Fields Peak.

Lucas Francesco Cavalle, 38, of Mt. Vernon, was found about 11:45 a.m. and was extricated from the scene by Grant County Search and Rescue personnel, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer said in a press release.

He had been missing since Dec. 3.

An investigation into his cause of death is ongoing, and the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office has ordered an autopsy.

A preliminary investigation indicated that Cavalle had attempted to build a fire but was unsuccessful.

Temperatures were in the single digits, with winds and 9-10 inch deep snow, Palmer said.

Cavalle was wearing hiking boots, blue jeans, shirts and a jacket. He also had a backpack.

He was reported missing by his girlfriend at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 after failing to return from a hike the previous day. Cavalle recently moved to Grant County and was unfamiliar with the area.

Cavalle told a shuttle driver he was going for a hike and planned to be picked up the next morning, but he didn’t get on the shuttle or report to work.

He told several people he planned to hike from the Fields Peak area north toward his residence between Mt. Vernon and Dayville, about 9 miles away. The area where he planned to hike had about 5-10 inches of snow and was steep and rocky in places.

Members of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, GCSO Search & Rescue, BLM and Forest Service law enforcement, local Amateur Radio Emergency Service, local Air Search Group, search and rescue personnel from Crook, Baker, Morrow and Deschutes counties, Life Flight of Oregon, the Oregon Army National Guard and others assisted in the search effort.

A K-9 team, drone aircraft, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft flew over the area during the search.

Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at rick@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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