July 3 (UPI) -- A 54-year-old man died while hiking in Big Bend National Park in Texas, officials said on Wednesday.
Authorities discovered the body of Richard Merrill about a quarter-mile from Marufo Vega trail where he had been hiking.
Park rangers investigating a vehicle parked at the trailhead on Tuesday found a note that said Merrill was planning to hike on the trail from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The note also included a request to notify the park if he hadn't returned by Tuesday afternoon.
Park rangers began the search Tuesday evening as temperatures in the area reached 90 degrees with 38 percent humidity and discovered Merrill's body off the trail.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter crew participated in the recovery of his body on Wednesday morning.
"We are deeply saddened by this loss and would like to extend our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Merrill," superintendent Bob Krumenaker said. "The environment of Big Bend in the summer is sadly unforgiving. We urge all hikers to be sure they are prepared for the summer desert conditions so they are able to return home and safely visit Big Bend again."