Alexander Lofgren, 32, an aide to Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), was pronounced lifeless and his girlfriend Emily Henkel, 27, was airlifted to a hospital on Thursday for medical remedy. The couple have been discovered on a “very steep ledge” in a distant space of Death Valley National Park close to Willlow Creek, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
Inyo County search and rescue workforce members positioned the pair on Wednesday by way of aerial reconnaissance, and after a failed hoist operation because of the “extreme location,” have been in a position to attain them at round 11:40 a.m. native time Thursday.
Officials described the rescue as “highly technical.”
The couple had been reported as probably lacking after they didn’t return to Helendale, California, on their due date of April 4.
Lofgren labored for Democratic Rep. Grijalva of Arizona’s third District. According to Henkel’s LinkedIn profile, she works as a advertising and marketing coordinator for the Arizona Army National Guard.
“Words cannot begin to describe how heartbroken I am over the death of Alex Lofgren, a dedicated caseworker in my district office,” Grijalva said in a statement Friday. “Alex will forever be a part of our family, and my heart is with his family, his loving partner Emily, and his colleagues who mourn him today.”
“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,” he added. “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 unrivaled empathy.”
The sheriff’s workplace mentioned that an investigation might be carried out to find out the trigger and method of Lofgren’s loss of life.
“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.
The sheriff’s workplace described the couple as skilled campers, noting that Lofgren was believed to have jugs of water and at the very least at some point’s value of meals, in addition to tenting gear. The 32-year-old was identified for tenting in distant areas that aren’t designated campgrounds.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) mentioned on Twitter that Lofgren was her former intern and “an absolutely stellar young man.”
“He had a heart of gold and worked so hard for Arizona and our country. I’m sending so much love to his family and friends. May he rest in power,” Sinema mentioned.