Hiker found dead after getting lost in Highlands County

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SEBRING, Fla. (AP) A Florida man was found dead several hours after getting lost while hiking in a nature preserve.

A Highlands County Sheriff’s Office news release says a helicopter crew spotted the body of 61-year-old Ronald Bernard Fernandez Sunday night in the Sun ‘N Lake Preserve in Sebring.

Authorities say Fernandez had called 911 about five hours earlier, telling dispatchers he was lost. Search crews from Highlands and Polk counties responded. Officials tried to use Fernandez’s cell phone to locate him but he apparently kept moving. He was eventually found face down in shallow water.

Sheriff Paul Blackman said in a prepared statement that it was hot and humid Sunday and that it doesn’t take long to get dehydrated and disoriented. A medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

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