The family of an Arizona convention worker who died camping in California’s Death Valley National Park has revealed that his SUV was stranded with two punctures and that his wife sustained a serious injury to her foot during the fateful trip last week.
Alexander Lofgren, 32, and Emily Henkel, 27, were found Friday on a steep ledge near Willow Creek, California, but Lofgren did not survive.
Henkel was rescued and flown to Lemoore Naval Air Station for treatment. Her brother, Chris Henkel, wrote in the description of one GoFundMe campaign that his sister needed surgery.
Alexander Lofgren, 32 (left), an Army veteran who worked for Congressman Raul Grijalva’s staff in Arizona, died trying to cross a gorge in California’s Death Valley National Park with his wife, Emily Henkel last week (right)
The sheriff’s office posted a photo of their white 2018 Subaru Forester with Yakima roof rack and several dogs near what is believed to be Tucson. The vehicle stalled after two flat tires
The brother gave a detailed account of the incident that began on April 4, when Emily and her husband’s Subaru SUV became disabled in “a very remote” part of Death Valley National Park.
Lofgren, an army veteran, and Henkel, a photographer, who were described by authorities as experienced campers, were due to return home that day, but they never succeeded.
Two days later, the authorities are looking for the missing couple with helicopters.
On April 8, Henkel and Lofgren’s vehicle was finally located with a note in it that read, “Two flat tires, on the way to Mormon Point, have three days of water,” Chris Henkel wrote.
He stated that his sister and brother-in-law were seen from the air later that same day, but rescue teams could not reach them immediately due to the remoteness of their location.
The Tucson couple is depicted in an image released by Inyo Creek Sheriff’s Office. They were due to return from their camping trip on April 4, but never returned
According to Henkel’s brother, his photographer’s sister suffered serious injuries to her foot when she tried to cross a canyon. After she was rescued on April 9, Henkel underwent surgery
It wasn’t until 11:30 a.m. the next day, April 9, after a failed aerial rescue attempt, that a search group finally contacted Emily and learned that her husband had died.
Lofgren’s cause of death is under investigation.
“ Rescuers, family and friends were devastated to discover that Alex had suffered fatal injuries trying to get through Willow Creek Canyon to the nearest road for help, and that Emily had suffered a serious foot injury that required surgery, ” the brother wrote.
Chris wrote that the money raised through the GoFundMe campaign, currently in excess of $ 31,000, would help the family cover the costs of the multi-agency search and rescue operation, Emily’s medical expenses, and Lofgren’s memorial services. .
“I want to honor Alexander Lofgren for being such a loving, strong soul,” Chris wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “For serving his country and protecting my sister to the end. I will be forever grateful to him with all my heart and soul. ‘
Lofgren (left) previously served in the army and was deployed to Afghanistan.
Lofgren worked as a caseworker in Congressman Raul Grijalva’s district office and lived in Tucson, KGUN reported. He previously served in the military and was sent to Afghanistan.
Grijalva, a Democrat, released a statement about Lofgren’s death on Twitter.
To know Alex was to know someone who loved life, loved his family, and loved helping others. Words cannot begin to describe the emptiness that this immense loss leaves in the hearts of his colleagues and his family, ‘wrote Grijalva.
Alex lived a life of service and always put the needs of others first. After serving our country in Afghanistan, he came home to Arizona to serve veterans here in Southern Arizona as a caseworker at my office. ‘
He continued: “The passion he devoted to his work every day touched countless lives. Regardless of the situation, Alex met those he helped with smiling faces, caring hearts, and unparalleled empathy. ‘
Representative Grijalva released a statement last week mourning Lofgren’s death
“Alex will be a part of our family forever, and my heart is with his family, his loving partner Emily and his colleagues who mourn him today,” he added.
Death Valley, in the Mojave Desert of eastern California, is one of the hottest and driest places in the world. It had highlights in the 90s this week.
The rugged park has claimed several lives over the years. In January, an experienced climber descending a canyon collapsed his death when he landed in a rock slide.