Witnesses saw Le fall into the San Gabriel River on Friday afternoon. He was trying to cross the river at a spot where a rope is strung across the water when he was swept away by raging currents. Friends and family immediately mobilized a community search effort, but sadly, his body was found on Sunday afternoon:
The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirmed Monday that the body found in the forest is that of Joe Le, 20, who had been missing since Friday.Le was enrolled at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, and studying to become a graphic artist. He is remembered by loved ones as a nice guy who made people laugh and didn't take unnecessary risks. It's just a terrible accident. More here: Family, friend remember hiker who died.
The body of the Westminster High alumnus was discovered Sunday afternoon by authorities near the San Gabriel River in the Coyote Flats area. Le was hiking with others near the Camp Williams Resort in Azusa when he fell into the river and was carried away, said Lt. Craig Boyett of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
One of Le's hiking partners, Brian Tran, told deputies that his friend was trying to cross the waist-high frigid waters along a rope crossing when he was swept downstream.