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Missing hiker found dead in Ventana Canyon
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Missing hiker found dead in Ventana Canyon

4th heat-related casualty from Sunday

  • Authorities found Marcus Turowski, 33, who disappeared during a hike along the Ventana Canyon trail on Sunday morning, dead at about 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.
    PCSDAuthorities found Marcus Turowski, 33, who disappeared during a hike along the Ventana Canyon trail on Sunday morning, dead at about 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Four people have died from heat-related causes following a record-breaking heat wave in the Tucson area. 

On Tuesday morning, search and rescue teams found the body of Marcus Turowkski, 33, who disappeared during a hike along the Ventana Canyon trail on Sunday morning, authorities said. 

Turokwski was found dead around 7 a.m. west of the Ventana Trail, said Ryan Inglett, a spokesman with the Pima County Sheriff's Department. 

Turowski and two other men, all from Germany, were attending the Optical Society of America conference at the nearby Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort and decided to hike up the trail sometime Sunday morning. 

Around 1:45 p.m., authorities responded to the trail, after another hiker called, telling deputies that there were "some hikers who were possible dehydrated," said Deputy Courtney Rodriguez, a sheriff's department spokeswoman. 

"Deputies learned three men went hiking up the trail," Rodriguez said. "One man was able to make it down, but the other two were not seen or heard from any further."

Deputies found Stefan Guenster, 57, dead approximately four miles from the trailhead, said Rodriguez. 

More than two dozen people searched for Turowski on Sunday afternoon, but failed to find him. Officials resumed their search on Monday morning, working until 2 p.m. when the mid-day heat was too intense for search efforts. 

On Tuesday morning, deputies with support from Southwest Rescue Dogs, and search and rescue units from Cochise and Pinal counties  resumed their search around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning and found Turowski. 

Dry conditions and viciously high temperatures contributed to four deaths on Sunday in the Tucson-area, including the two men who died on the Ventana Canyon trail. 

Earlier in the day, officials responded to a call that a 18-year old woman and a 22-year old man were lost and had run out of water on the Finger Rock Trail. The woman, identified as Adrienne Rasmussen died on the trail.  The man, who remains unidentified, was airlifted from the trail and transported to Tucson Medical Center, said Rodriguez. 

Later, on Sunday afternoon, a 54-year old woman was found dead on the walking path in the 4900 block of South Outlet Drive, near East Irvington Road and Interstate 10. She went out for a walk along the Loop path around 3 p.m. said Rodriguez. 

During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos and Dr. Michele Manos, a consultant with Pima County Health, repeated warnings for people to stay inside and avoid outdoor activity. 

Manos said people can prepare for high temperatures, but "temperatures like this will overwhelm preparations," Manos said.  

On Sunday, temperatures hit 115 degrees at Tucson International Airport, with other area thermometers reading 116 — falling just short of Tucson's all-time high of 117 degrees recorded on June 26, 1990. 

A weather station east of Tucson, near Marsh Station Road, reported hitting 121 degrees Sunday afternoon around 3:20 p.m. A University of Arizona station hit 118 degrees.

Two weeks ago, over the June 2-4 weekend, area temperatures peaked at 114 degrees, and sheriff's deputies rescued three hikers with heat-related illness. One man, 72, was rescued by deputies on June 3 and remains in critical condition after he suffered "extreme heat exhaustion" while hiking in upper Tanque Verde Falls. 

Officials have warned that people limit outdoor chores and spend the afternoon and evenings in indoors areas with "sufficient cooling" and drink plenty of water.

They also said to never leave a pet, child, or anyone else in a parked car even for a few minutes.

Researchers at San Francisco State University conducted a study in 2003 that showed that the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to 114 degrees on a 95 degree day, and will rapidly rise to 140 in under an hour even with the windows open.

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