Family reported him overdue day after his planned day hike
TACOMA, WASH. — A hiker from New Rochelle was pronounced dead Tuesday after being airlifted out of Mount Rainier National Park.
Officials aren’t certain what killed Brian Grobois, 54, but said he appeared to be dead for about 24 hours before his body was recovered, according to the News Tribune of Tacoma.
“We have no idea what happened,” park spokeswoman Patti Wold told the newspaper. “(Rangers) had seen footprints in the area, so if he fell, it wasn’t from a distance. We just don’t know what happened yet. We may never know.”
Grobois began his snowshoe hike in the park Sunday, officials said. After failing to hear from him by 9 a.m. Monday, Grobois’ family called the park to report him overdue.
The News Tribune reported that six search and rescue teams, as well as a helicopter, began a search Monday. Late in the afternoon, the helicopter crew spotted Grobois lying in the snow at the top of the Stevens Creek drainage. There was a dusting of snow on him. Because of rough terrain in the area and fast-approaching darkness, officials opted not to send in a ground team Monday evening.
Grobois remained at the spot on the south side of the 14,411-foot mountain until Tuesday morning, when rescuers in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from Joint Base Lewis-McChord removed him from the park, Wold said. He was pronounced dead at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma.
The elements likely did little to help him survive, Wold said. Temperatures in the park reached a low of 14 degrees Sunday and were followed by temperatures in the mid-20s Monday evening.
According to Internet listings, Grobois worked as a psychiatrist in New Rochelle. A call to his office went to voicemail. The outgoing message said he was to have returned to work Tuesday. No telephone number was listed for Grobois’ home.
Chesed Shel Emes of NY is assisting the family with all necessary arrangements & is in contact with the local law enforcement authorities as well as the Medical Examiners Office, to get the Body released as soon as possible, in order for it to be flown back for burial.