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Search crews find body of missing hiker in Gaviota

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Posted at 12:42 PM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 00:20:02-04

A hiker reported missing along a Gaviota Hot Springs trail over the weekend has been found dead.

The search for Tim Sgrignoli of Ventura resumed Thursday morning before a mobile unit from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, one of many mobile units called in to assist with the search, found the 29-year-old’s body near the Gaviota Tunnel around 9 a.m., according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Search efforts have been underway both on the ground and in the air since Sunday afternoon.

Officials with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department say they received a call around 2 p.m. Sunday about a male and female hiker in distress on the Trespass Trail near Gaviota Hot Springs.

Public information officer Scott Safechuck says as soon as a helicopter was dispatched to provide aid to the couple, Sgrignoli left his partner, also from Ventura, to search for help and find water.

An update on her condition has not been released.

Early on, dozens of people from multiple agencies spanning from San Luis Obispo to Ventura were involved in the search through the steep and rugged terrain as temperatures neared triple digits.

"The heat, as far as complications to this search, was the number one issue," said Commander Erik Raney with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. "The first several days, as you know we had record breaking temperatures. So, out on an exposed trail like this, everyone was exposed to that extreme temperatures."

Thursday, Sgrignoli’s family, who flew in from the East Coast, and other volunteers were also reportedly on scene to assist with the search.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has been leading the search efforts since Monday.

No other information was immediately available.