A volunteer firefighter who was dispatched to help recover a rock climber's body Monday received a shock when he discovered the deceased female was his ex-wife.
Scott Hicks told the Santa Fe New Mexican that he heard another climber give the victim's address to paramedics.
"Of course I recognized it,” Hicks told the paper. “So I looked at the [report] and saw her name, and that’s when I realized it was my ex-wife."
The woman was identified as Susan Sarossy, who Hicks was married to for 19 years before they divorced in 1999. The couple have a 25-year-old daughter together.
The New Mexican reported that Sarossy was part of a group of rock climbers who had gone to Diablo Canyon, about 20 miles northwest of Santa Fe. Fellow climber Steven Reneau told investigators that Sarossy was the last of the group to descend the canyon. Reneau told Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office deputies that Sarossy may not have "[anchored] herself herself down correctly prior to pushing off the wall", according to an official report
Hicks told the paper that Sarossy began climing while they were still married in an effort to overcome her fear of heights.
"She always told me, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing rock climbing because I’m afraid of heights,'" he said. "'but I think this is way for me to face that fear.'"