A 106-person search party discovered a body Wednesday that is believed to be that of missing miner Walter Steever, 65, of San Jose, according to the Nevada County sheriff.
“It’s a very sad, tragic result of this search,” said Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal.
“When we enter into this type of search event, the goal is to find them and escort them to safety. When we find them deceased, it is always a tragedy.”
Steever, who frequently visited mine sites along the South Yuba River, did not return home from a visit last weekend. A search was initiated at the beginning of the week, Royal said, adding that among the parties involved in the search were members of Steever’s family.
The body was discovered at approximately 1:15 p.m. Wednesday in a remote, heavily wooded area, approximately (Correction: 1500 feet) from where Steever left his vehicle in a fire lane at the end of Owl Creek Road near the South Yuba River, Royal reported.
“There are no signs of foul play,” Royal said. “I don’t know if it was a fall or what, but there were no signs of foul play.”
Also participating in the search were Nevada County Search and Rescue; the California Highway Patrol; California State Parks; Nevada County Probation; and volunteer teams from Placer, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Marin and El Dorado counties, among others. A helicopter and canine search units also assisted.
“At this point, we will recover the body and then do a coroner’s investigation to determine a cause of death,” Royal said. “Legally, we have to go through the process to make a positive identification.”
While discovering a loved one’s remains can be tragic, Royal noted it prevents families from wondering. He said his grandfather disappeared while hunting, and it wasn’t until two years later that the remains were discovered. “It helps close that door,” Royal said.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story ommitted a “zero” figure in describing the distance that Steever’s body was found from his vehicle. It has been corrected to indicate the accurate distance as described by Royal.