NATIONAL NEWS

Woman found dead on Phoenix-area hike, authorities say it may be heat related

Aug 6, 2023, 10:09 AM

PHOENIX (AP) — An Oregon woman who went missing on a hike in north Phoenix has been found dead and it appears to be heat-related, according to authorities.

Phoenix Fire Department officials said Jessica Christine Lindstrom, 34, went hiking around 8:30 a.m. Friday and was declared missing about nine hours later by Phoenix police.

Fire Department Capt. Scott Douglas said drones and technical rescue teams were used during a five-hour search before Lindstrom’s body was found on a remote trail on the north side of the Deem Hills Recreation Area.

Douglas said it will be up to the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death, but preliminary information suggests Lindstrom was overcome by the heat while hiking.

“Unfortunately, Ms. Lindstrom was in town from Oregon, where it doesn’t get this hot,” Douglas said.

Authorities said Lindstrom, who formerly lived in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria, was a registered nurse in Oregon and was visiting family.

Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, reported Wednesday that 39 heat-associated deaths have been confirmed this year as of July 29 with another 312 deaths under investigation.

At the same time last year, there were 42 confirmed heat-related deaths in the county with another 282 under investigation.

Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, reported 425 heat-associated deaths in all of 2022 with more than half of them in July.

The National Weather Service said July was the hottest month in Phoenix on record, with an average temperature of 102.7 Fahrenheit (39.28 Celsius). That topped the previous record of 99.1 F (37.28 C) set in August 2020.

Phoenix and its suburbs sweltered more and longer than most cities during the recent heat spell, with several records including 31 consecutive days over 110 F (43.33 C). The previous record was 18 straight days, set in 1974.

The National Weather Service said metro Phoenix was under an excessive heat warning through Monday night with near-record high temperatures expected to reach between 110 degrees F (43.3 C) and 114 F (45.5) Sunday and Monday.

Saturday’s high of 116 F (46.6) broke the previous record of 115 (46.11) set on that date in 2019.

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Woman found dead on Phoenix-area hike, authorities say it may be heat related