Former White House executive chef Walter Scheib was found dead in New Mexico on Sunday, the Taos News reports. According to authorities, Scheib had gone hiking in an unfamiliar area in the Taos Ski Valley last Saturday when he apparently vanished.
A search-and-rescue mission began on Wednesday, the night after Scheib’s car was discovered at the base of a trail head near the Yerba Canyon in New Mexico, five days after Scheib went missing. He had recently moved to New Mexico from Florida, and friends had said he may not have been familiar with hiking around the area. Via the Taos News:
Each day of the five-day effort involved dozens of volunteers, including some on horseback and others with dogs.
A state police helicopter also undertook a search from the air but its flight crew found the forest below too thick to see the trail.
Meanwhile, the rugged terrain hampered search efforts by foot. Teams also reported finding some areas still covered in snow at higher elevations.
And while the trails remained open, no hikers reported seeing any sign of Scheib.
Due to inclement weather, rescue teams eventually descended trails on foot, which is how they eventually came to discover Scheib’s body. According to the Taos News, Scheib’s body was found “in a river between 20 and 30 feet off the trail.” The former White House chef’s two sons had flown in for the search effort but had not released a statement as of Sunday night’s discovery.