A body found last week on the eastern side of Mount Rainier was a Tacoma man who disappeared last year while hiking the Wonderland Trail with his son.
The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remains Monday as 64-year-old Edwin Birch, who was reported missing July 12, 2014.
Birch and his son hoped to hike the 93-mile Wonderland in segments and completed their first section the week before he disappeared.
Birch was hiking from Box Canyon to White River and his son was hiking in the opposite direction. The two met at Indian Bar before continuing along. Birch’s son notified park rangers after his father did not return to the trailhead by 1:30 a.m.
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The area where he went missing, near Pan Handle Gap, is the highest point on the Wonderland Trail at 6,800 feet.
Park visitors found Birch’s remains July 26 near Frying Pan Glacier.
Forensic examiners said the cause of death is undetermined.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653