SANTA ROSA - The family of missing hiker Steven Michael Morris said Tuesday it has accepted the likelihood he died when he fell down the steep rocky walls at Billy's Peak in the Trinity Alps.

Morris, 59, of Santa Rosa, disappeared on Aug. 2 while hiking at Stoddard Lake. He was hiking ahead of the others in his group from the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Rosa and never returned to camp, the Trinity County Sheriff's Office said.

The Trinity County Sheriff's Office cancelled the search for him on Aug 7. Teams from Sonoma, Marin and Contra Costa counties had joined the search.

Morris and his wife Caroline ran a marriage and family counseling business in Santa Rosa.

In a written statement, Carolyn Morris said the family believes her husband "lost his footing when a piece of rock gave way and he fell down one of the steep, rocky walls that surround Billy's Peak.

"We do not believe Steve could have survived such a fall. These areas are too treacherous to risk further loss of life," she said.

Morris said if the family is able to obtain assistance from a helicopter or a drone in the future, his body might be located and he brought home.

"We have reluctantly come to terms with the belief that Steve's body may forever rest among the mountain peaks he loved so much. And we are thankful to know he is at peace, enjoying the company of the loving God he worshipped," Morris said.


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