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Backpacker On Two-Night Trip Through Great Smoky Mountains National Park Found Dead


A 26-year-old Michigan man was found dead in a lean-to along the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to park officials.

Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy performed on Ross Sabin Enderle, of Pontiac, Michigan, to determine the cause of death. They do not suspect foul play, the park said.

Mr. Enderle was on a two-night backpacking trip in the park with two friends and his brother, Ryan, a park release said. The hikers had stayed the second night of their itinerary at the Icewater Spring shelter on Friday. Besides their group of four, there were two other backpackers staying in the shelter and two others nearby, the park release said.

When they awoke on Saturday morning and tried to arouse Mr. Enderle, he was unresponsive.

One of the hikers staying at the shelter contacted 911 by a cell phone and Great Smoky Mountains National Park was notified around 7:45 a.m. Rangers reached the shelter shortly after 9 a.m. Mr. Enderle exhibited no signs of life upon an examination by a park EMT. Rangers then placed the body on a litter and carried the victim 3 miles from Icewater Spring to Newfound Gap via the Appalachian Trail.

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