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ASU graduate student missing after hiking on Mount Hood in Oregon

Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 18:39:16-04

UPDATE: Authorities confirmed on Thursday that David Yaghmourian's body was found on Mount Hoodand that his family has been informed.


Authorities are searching for an Arizona State University graduate student who was last seen Monday hiking Mt. Hood.

The Clackamas County Sheriff`s Office says David Yaghmourian was hiking the Timberline Trail with a friend when he injured his leg.

Yaghmourian is from Phoenix and currently a graduate assistant on the ASU Tempe campus, earning his master's degree, according to family.

Yaghmourian was on fall break last week on a multi-day hiking and camping trip on Mt. Hood with his friend.

"Their knees were starting to get sore," said Mary Ellen Yaghmourian, David's mother.

David and his friend Hayden were less than two miles from the lodge when they split up.

"I was at the point where I really needed to get back. I was feeling pretty bad. So I checked with David, he wanted to take an extra break," said Hayden Kirschbaum, who continued on to the lodge.

David never made it.

When Hayden went back down the trail, he was gone, prompting a massive search and rescue operation that has been going on for more than 48 hours.

"They had 40 searchers going out in the field, from three different counties," Mary Ellen said. "They had a dog out [and] there is a drone team and also a national guard helicopter."

Fortunately the fog cleared up on Wednesday, allowing rescuers to search from sun up to sun down.

Unfortunately, David was not found, and he remains on a mountain that claimed four lives in 2017 alone.

His mother is remaining optimistic.

"We are hopeful," she said. "We know that he is very logical in his thinking."

David also has the right gear to stay hydrated and warm.

"He has a water purification system with him," Mary Ellen said. "One of the deputies said that they are very encouraged because he does have the tent and he has the sleeping bag so he can stay warm."

The positivity also exists among fellow ASU students.

"As ASU students we definitely stick together and look out for each other. I think everybody will be looking out and have him in their prayers," said Justin Westbrook.

As students watch for updates, rescuers will continue their search on Mt. Hood. Their one goal, to find David so he can return to campus and hiking Camelback.

Yaghmourian was last seen wearing a black jacket and tan pants at the eastern junction of the Timberline Trail at the Pacific Crest Trail. He also had a large backpack with what appears to be a yellow towel attached to it.    

The Clackamas County Sheriff`s Office is asking anyone who recently hiked Mt. Hood and may have seen David to call with tips.