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Alan Hogenauer, 71, of Cerritos found dead in sweltering desert heat in Thousand Palms

Breaking NewsTHOUSAND PALMS — A professor from Cerritos has died in Thousand Palms over the weekend fter hiking in record-setting heat.

Alan Hogenauer, 71, of Cerritos had been out with his wife and son in the Coachella Valley Preserve when he apparently wandered away in the blistering heat.

It is being reported that family members called Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to report him missing at about 3:20 p.m. Saturday.

MyDesert.com said that “more than 60 rescuers from across Southern California joined the search, which included search dogs and a helicopter in areas that had weak cell phone signals, Ramos and Bruce Tappeiner with Desert Search and Rescue said. Three crews continued combing the area through the night in what crews called an exhaustive search.:

It appears that a rescue crew in the helicopter found his body shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday about a half-mile from the preserve’s visitor center.

Additional details will be provided by Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper during the next several days.

–Randy Economy


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  • Stephen Weiss says:

    I live year-round in Palm Desert, only about 10 minutes from the oasis and preserve where Mr. Hogenauer died. It reached about 122F that day – some say even higher.

    This was a very bad decision on his part to hike or even stay outside for prolonged periods on a day like that. We live here all the time and we know this.

    The area the Professor was hiking in has a large oasis that has been in use constantly by the native peoples for about 15,000 years. It contains tree shade and spring water. As an experienced outdoorsman he should have taken advantage of that.

    If you come to where I live in July and August, Please:

    1. Wear a light-colored hat at all times. soak the hat in water if you can.
    2. Dress lightly in light-colored clothing.
    3. Have lots of water with you or available and drink it constantly.
    4. Seek shade for every 15 minutes of sun exposure.
    5. Wear a high-number sunscreen.

    Every year we see several folks who do not heed these simple precautions and die from the heat. I’m sorry you all lost a friend and neighbor in Cerritos.

    Please come and visit the Coachella Valley but don’t become a sad statistic.

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