Crews are rushing to recover remains today as a snowstorm is bearing down on the Sierras this evening. The storm is expected to dump up to 2 feet of snow over the area. After that, it's very likely that the area will be covered in snow until early June. Hopefully that will keep the area safe from scavengers for the winter, both human and not.
Thanks to reader krin, we were inspired to create a new Google Earth map by overlaying the handout topo map handed out by the Madera County Sheriff. I think we got it pretty close this time. Viewed in Google Earth, it gives a much better picture of the crash area.
His items were likely spread around by animals. There are many bears and other mammals at that elevation (9700 ft) during the summer months.
We understand that the California Department of Justice is awaiting delivery of the remains and that DNA testing will take a few weeks or so.
At the same time the NTSB is doing an investigation into the cause of the crash. We've been hiking all through this area. It's very near the John Muir Trail. and know pilots who fly there. It's a very sketchy place to fly due to the strong mountain winds. The most likley cause is that he was blown into the mountain.
We'll keep you posted.