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Home National & State Parks Other NPs Hiker Found Dead on Santa Cruz Island; Fall from Cliff Probable Cause

Channel Islands National Park

Hiker Found Dead on Santa Cruz Island; Fall from Cliff Probable Cause

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A fall from one of the cliffs at Santa Cruz Island within Channel Islands National Park off of Southern California may have claimed the life of Christopher Anthony Mondiek, 23, from Dublin, Ohio, rangers said.

Mondiek's body was found on the morning of Dec. 18, 2012 on the beach at Yellowbanks Anchorage, not far from Smugglers Cove. Search and rescue crews made the discovery shortly after 8 a.m.
 
smugglers_coveOn Sunday, Dec. 16, the National Park Service was notified by park concessioner Island Packers, that Mondiek had not returned from an overnight trip to Santa Cruz Island. Park staff began searching on Sunday, but was not able to locate Mondiek.

On Monday, the National Park Service requested assistance with the search from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. A helicopter was sent to the island, but was soon turned back due to stormy conditions.

Search and rescue crews responded back to the island Tuesday morning ultimately making the discovery of Mondiek's body on the beach below a steep cliff.

The deceased's body was brought back via boat to the Ventura Harbor where coroner's detectives from the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office took possession of it.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office will handle the investigation as Coroner detectives determine the exact circumstances of the death. Initial information suggests the death may have been accidental.

Santa Cruz is California's largest island, almost three times the size of Manhattan. It's approximately 24 miles long and up to six miles wide; 96 square miles; 62,000 acres; with a 77-mile shoreline.

The park's Web site can be found at
www.nps.gov/chis/ .

 
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