Emergency crews returned to West Rock Ridge State Park on Monday morning to recover the body of a hiker who fell to his death. They finished the recovery operation just before 9:30 a.m., according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
New Haven firefighters responded to West Rock to perform a high angle rescue halfway up the mountain around 6 p.m. on Sunday, according to the department’s Twitter page.
DEEP officers originally said they believed the man was with two other hikers, but they now believe he was hiking alone. Two people witnessed the fall, authorities said.
Upon arrival, crews began searching for the victim, who had reportedly fallen a few hundred feet. A rescuer made it down the cliff and confirmed that the victim, identified only as a young adult male, was dead. The exact cause of death will be determined by an autopsy.
Williams said it was a challenging operation. Authorities have had issues at the park before because of loose rocks, trees and a steep drop off, Williams said.
“Especially with the time of night with a lack of light and visibility, it’s always difficult to make that sort of descent down a cliff like that,” Williams said.
The New Haven Fire department recovered the body of the hiker, who has not yet been identified.
New Haven police responded to assist and DEEP is leading the investigation. Police said there is no sign of foul play.