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Body of missing hiker found in Columbia River Gorge

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STEVENSON, Wash. (AP) _ Authorities say the body of an Oregon man who hadn’t returned from a hike in the Columbia River Gorge has been found.

Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown says search crews located the body of 31-year-old Melvin Burtch of Beaverton, Oregon, at about 5 p.m. Wednesday at the base of Table Mountain in Washington.

He had last been heard from Tuesday afternoon when he took two dogs hiking in the area.

Brown says on Wednesday morning employees of the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort saw both dogs near Burtch’s vehicle and a search commenced after that.

Brown says signal transmissions from Burtch’s cellphone helped searchers find him.

It’s believed Burtch fell from the summit of Table Mountain nearly 700 feet to the base.

Recovery efforts will begin Thursday morning.