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Body Found in Angeles National Forest That of Missing Hiker Swept Away By River

Joe Le (via Facebook)
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Los Angeles County coroner's officials confirm this morning that the body found in the Angeles National Forest is indeed that of Joe Le, a 20-year-old hiker from Anaheim who was swept away by the cold and fast-moving waters of the San Gabriel River, according to the AP. Le, a Golden West College student, had been hiking with friends on Friday and was attempting to wade across the waist-high waters at the East Fork river near Azusa when he was carried off by the current. Following the accident, "Le's family and friends spent the entire night trying to mobilize community support for the continued search effort, including an official "Pray for Joe Search Party" on Facebook," reports the OC Weekly.

Authorities combed the region over the weekend in an attempt to locate Le. Several hours after the search began Le's backpack was located, and his body was found downstream Sunday.

One of Le's hiking companions posted on the "Pray for Joe Search Party" page what happened during that fateful Friday outing:

An adventurous day gold panning on the river was shattered as Joe swept by in the swift current. Unaware, we yelled to him to get to the side. Seven of us ran after him, stumbling over boulders and dodging trees only to watch in helpless disbelief as he distanced away until he disappeared. I ran to the parking lot, drove to Williams Camp cafe to summon help. Later I met Joe's hiking companion. We talked throughout the day. His enormous grief.. "If Only I ..." He needs as much support as the family for his burden is overwhelming. Rest in Peace Joe...