A 38-year old man from Diamond Mountain Ranch at Fort Bowie has died after three months living in a nearby cave.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Department received the call at 8 a.m. Sunday about the unresponsive man, said Spokeswoman Carol Capas.
“This is a remote area to the south of the Fort, and two subjects – male and female – were reportedly on a retreat to the Diamond Mountain Property,” said Capas, adding that “three months ago they left and began living in a cave near there.”
Search and Rescue was activated, and requested assistance of the Tucson Ranger helicopter to search the area, and located the man and woman, she said.
“Once at the site, it was discovered that the man was deceased and the woman was in need of medical attention,” Capas said.
The Ranger helicopter had some mechanical issues, which prompted the request of the 55th Rescue Squadron at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, she said.
The Air Force helicopter transported the man’s body out, and Westlawn Mortuary transported him to the county Medical Examiner’s Office for completion of an autopsy to determine exact cause of death, Capas said.
Capas said there was no indication of foul play.
A private citizen transported the 39-year old woman to Northern Cochise Community Hospital in Willcox, where she was treated for dehydration and released, she said.
County Search and Rescue was called out again at 2 p.m. that day for a dehydrated man and woman off of Inspiration Point in the Chiricahua National Monument, Capas said.
Neither one had food nor water during their hike and the heat caused them distress, she said.
The National Park Service was able to find the couple, providing them water, and ultimately walking them out to safety, Capas said.
The Search and Rescue team cancelled its response, she said.