NEVADA CITY -- A miner from San Jose was found dead amid a densely wooded area near his Nevada County work site after being reported missing earlier in the week, the Nevada County Sheriff's Office said.
The body of Walter Steever, 65, was found Wednesday afternoon on a remote hillside along the South Yuba River, Sgt. Sam Brown said. His family in San Jose contacted authorities there Monday when he didn't come home last weekend as expected.
Steever's family could not immediately be reached Thursday.
Steever, who authorities say sifted the river for minerals including gold, left for Nevada County on Oct. 23. After he was reported missing, authorities found his vehicle at the end of Owl Creek Road, which leads to the river.
Overnight temperatures in the area where Steever was found dipped to as low as 32 degrees. The search team had to crawl through thick brush to retrieve Steever's body.
How he died remains unclear pending an autopsy, but Brown said there were no obvious signs of foul play.
His disappearance prompted the formation of a search team numbering more than 200, which summoned volunteers from other counties including Contra Costa, Marin, Calaveras, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Tuolumne and Yuba, along with personnel from state parks, the Office of Emergency Services and the California Rescue Dog Association.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.