Missing hiker found in Great Sand Dunes identified

GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PRESERVE AND PARK, Colo. — The body of a missing hiker that was discovered this week has been identified.

The Saguache County Coroner’s Office said the deceased hiker is Bryan Skilinski of Phoenix, New York.

Skilinski was last seen leaving the Sand Pit picnic area on May 8.  A park ranger found his vehicle parked in the lot, prompting a multiagency search.

Hikers discovered Skilinski’s body near Milwaukee Peak on Sunday. Search teams had not looked in that area earlier because of deep snow, park officials said.

The body was removed Monday. Skilinski’s age was not released.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve encompasses more than 140,000 acres, including rugged high altitude and wilderness terrain.

The cause of death was not released because the case remains under investigation. The coroner’s office said foul play is not suspected.

Park officials said visitors should alert family, friends or park staff to their hiking plans when visiting remote locations.