NEVADA CITY, CA - Searchers have found a body believed to be that of a San Jose man who failed to return home after working his mining claim along the South Fork of the Yuba River.
The search for Walter Steever, 65, began after his wife reported him missing on Monday. Steever left San Jose a week ago.
The body was found Wednesday afternoon about 1,500 feet from Steever's camper, which was parked in a clearing at the bottom of Owl Creek Road.
Nevada County Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Pettitt said Steever routinely parked the vehicle there and hiked roughly a half-mile down steep terrain to his claim, then returned to the camper at night.
Pettitt said the body was not found near the trail that Steever had groomed and that he had likely tried to take a short cut. He said there was no obvious cause of death.
Scores of search and rescue volunteers from as far away as the Bay Area joined sheriff's deputies in the effort to find Steever and focused on a one-square-mile area of steep terrain and heavy brush below the camper.
Pettitt said Steever's family members, who were waiting at the search command post, had been notified.
Pettitt said a helicopter would likely be used to remove the body and that a positive identification was pending.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net