The body of missing hiker Cliff Kocher was found Saturday, January 12 in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Park Superintendent Rod Trevizo confirmed.
Trevizo said the search was a community effort that involved Border Patrol, Texas Parks and Wildlife Employees, Game Wardens, Presidio County Sheriffs Departments and a Texas Ranger stationed out of Marfa.
Trevizo said on January 11 a 20-mile perimeter search was performed, with no success, along with a K9 search that also yielded no results.
Then, said Trevizo, on Saturday the body was found 20-30 minutes from where Kocher left his vehicle along the Rio Grande. Border Patrol was brought in on Sunday to retrieve the body.
“That’s where we are,” said Trevizo. “We’re saddened.”
The search was extended because park employees had no idea where to begin looking for the hiker.
“He [Kocher] never stopped to register,” said Trevizo. “He told no one where he was going; there was no agenda, nothing.” Trevizo said the vehicle Kocher rented was found facing Mexico, which added to the confusion. “A lot of us thought he was hiking in Mexico,” he said. “But thank God he was found.”
The body has been sent to El Paso for an autopsy, which will determine the cause of death.