California

Body found on Mount Baldy believed to be hiker who climbed mountain hundreds of times

Mount Baldy.

Mount Baldy.  (Google Street View)

A body found on a California mountain Tuesday is believed to be a hiker who climbed to the peak more than 700 times, police said. 

Officials found a man's body on the north side of Mount Baldy in Los Angeles county at about 2:10 pm., the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept. said

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Officials are still waiting for a positive identification, but said they believe it is Suek "Sam" Kim, a 78-year-old South Korean hiker who was known for his hikes up the mountain. 

Kim's family members became worried when he didn't come home from his hike on Friday, according to police. His car was still parked near the trailhead at Manker Flats. 

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Crews began looking for him on Sunday, combing through the hiking trails that Kim may have walked through to get to the summit. 

Police were conducting an aerial search on Tuesday when they spotted the body. 

Kim was a familiar face at Mount Baldy. He appointed himself the "mountain ambassador" and handed out Clif bars, jelly beans and Doritos to hikers on the trail, The Los Angeles Times reported. 

Kim's ultimate goal was to take 1,000 trips up the 10,064-foot mountain by the end of this year. 

“I’m feeling God’s embrace [hiking the mountain]— this is better than church,” Kim told the Los Angeles Times. “My shortcut is the holy spirit.”