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Missing 22-Year-Old Woman Found Dead Nearly 1 Week After Hiking Mount Baldy During Winter Storm

Lifei Huang was reported missing on Feb. 4 after loved ones lost contact with her during her hike

<p>City of El Monte CA Government/Facebook</p> Lifei "Ada" Huang

City of El Monte CA Government/Facebook

Lifei "Ada" Huang
  • Lifei Huang, 22, was found dead after she went missing while hiking Mount Baldy during a storm on Feb. 4, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

  • A person flying a drone reportedly spotted the woman's body on Saturday

  • The sheriff's department said crews were unable to recover Huang's body until Sunday due to adverse conditions on the mountain

A California woman who disappeared while hiking Mount Baldy has been found dead nearly a week later, according to authorities.

On Saturday, the U.S. Forest Service said the body of Lefei Huang, 22, was spotted by a citizen flying a drone, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Huang was reported missing on Feb. 4 after loved ones lost contact with her during the hike.

Crews were initially unable to reach the spot where Huang was supposedly located due to adverse conditions on the mountain, but “stayed the night near the location to preserve the scene.”

Related: 75-Year-Old Hiker Dies After Falling About 100 Ft. Over 'Extremely Steep' Cliff on Mount Baldy

At about 7:45 a.m. local time Sunday, Sheriff’s Air Rescue 306 lowered medics down to the location where Huang was found dead, the SBCSD said.

“We never blamed her for doing this,” Huang’s cousin Ally Zhang previously told ABC station KABC-TV. “We don't think that she wanted this to happen.”

The SBCSD thanked everyone who “aided in the search,” including the citizen who alerted the U.S. Forestry Department about spotting the body.

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Officials with the City of El Monte, where Huang lived, also thanked the SCBSD and the Forest Service “for their unwavering dedication in the rescue efforts.”

“Our hearts go out to the Huang family during this difficult time as the El Monte community comes together to grieve the loss of Lifei,” city officials added.

The SBCSD is now “strongly” urging people to avoid mountain activities as the state of California faces continued inclement weather.

Related: 4 College Students Rescued from Kentucky Gorge amid Snowstorm: 'Potentially Life or Death Situation'

And with resources "stretched to their limits," hikers who may get lost in these conditions "may have to wait long periods of time before help is available," SBCSD added.

“The weather has effectively buried the mountain in snow and it is highly likely hikers will get into trouble,” the department said.

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