Missing Hiker’s Body Recovered at Bear Mountain State Park
State Police have issued a statement following reports of a missing hiker at Bear Mountain State Park this week. Unfortunately, the body of a 23-year-old man from Westchester was recovered after he was reported missing earlier this week.
Hiker Goes Missing at Bear Mountain State Park, Town of Highlands, on Tuesday, August 9th
At approximately 9 pm on Tuesday, August 9th, the New York State Park Police along with New York State Police responded to the town of Highlands, at Bear Mountain State Park, after reports of a missing hiker. Reports indicate that a 23 year old man later identified as Omar Benitez, from White Plains, had been hiking with friends at Bear Mountain when he got separated from the group.
Officers and park police, with the assistance of a bloodhound, searched the area for hours, until 2:45 am, but were unsuccessful in locating the missing hiker. Due to darkness and other safety reasons, the search was terminated in the early hours of Wednesday morning, August 10th.
Missing Hiker's Body Recovered at Bear Mountain State Park
Around 8:30 am, troopers and park police were joined by New York State Investigators and uniformed members, as well as a UAS-drone unit from the New York State Police Unmanned Aerial Surveillance, the NYS Police Aviation Unit, NYS Police Underwater Recovery Unit (URT) and the NYS Special Operations Response Team (SORT). At approximately 10 am, Benitez's body was located in Popolopen Creek. Police reports indicate that Benitez slipped and fell into the water, and that there were no signs of foul play in the incident, and that this continues to be an ongoing investigation.