Phoenix police: Body found at Camelback Mountain 'tentatively' identified as Eric Fernandes

PHOENIX - Police say the body found on Camelback Mountain Tuesday has been "tentatively" identified as that of missing hiker Eric Fernandes.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said authorities are awaiting a definitive identification from the Arizona Medical Examiner's Office.

He said the victim's family has been notified.

Search and Rescue teams were called to Echo Canyon Tuesday afternoon after a hiker reported seeing a body.

Authorities had been searching for 23-year-old Eric Fernandes for the last two days after he was reported missing Sunday evening by his father.

One hiker who only wanted to be identified as Francesca received a tip from a friend who said thought she noticed something near the summit.

"That's what led me to my intuition that I had to go back up there again," she said.

She noticed a bird circling overhead and after a 45-minute trek off the main trail noticed the body hidden among the rocks. She tied her yellow shirt to a tree to help authorities locate the body, held a moment of silence and then contacted authorities.

"Just imagine. It was not easy," said Francesca. "For the parents of this person. We have to do what we were drawn to do,"

Fernandes, who is from Seattle, Washington, traveled to Phoenix with his father on vacation to visit with friends. He reportedly left to go on a hike on Saturday, but did not return, according to authorities.

His father didn't report him missing until Sunday, according to police.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said Echo Canyon Trail has been closed due to the investigation.

Search and Rescue crews had suspended search operations around 11:30 a.m. citing concerns about the heat, resources and lack of new leads, according to Phoenix police.

Much of the Valley has been under an Extreme Heat Warning with temperatures reaching near-records at 110 degrees.

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