The fire departments of Sandoval and Los Alamos County were involved in recovering two bodies in two separate incidents from the Sandoval County wilderness area Saturday.
The first incident involved a man who was reported missing by his family Friday after he did not return from a morning hike in the Jemez Mountains, according to New Mexico State Police spokesman Robert McDonald.
Sandoval County Sheriff deputies found the hiker’s vehicle Friday night.
The case was transferred to state police because it turned into a search and rescue effort.
Search and rescue crews found the man’s body at the bottom of an approximate 100-foot cliff near F.R. 10 and F.R. 269.
The hiker was identified as Thomas Ilg, 54, of Los Alamos. He was a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee, according to the facility’s website. Ilg reportedly had worked at the lab since 1996.
Ilg’s neighbors were saddened and shocked to hear the news, but also said they did not know him well.
“I knew his wife Wendy, but I did not know him very well,” said one neighbor. “That is horrible; I do know they’ve lived in this neighborhood a long time. How awful,” the neighbor said.
McDonald said the family told officials Ilg was an experienced hiker.