View Full Version : Dead Hiker Found On Friday Mtn?

02-01-2005, 08:41 PM
I've Heard Stories Of A Hiker Found Dead And Partially Eaten By A Bear On Friday Mtn. In The Catskills.
I Think John Graham Has Mentioned This In The Past, If I Remember Right. Does Any One Have Any Details Or Info?

Jay H
02-02-2005, 09:37 AM
From what Hermit (ralph) told me when we were hiking Friday, he mentioned the guy was alledgedly doing Friday solo and most likely fell from one of the cliffs that was there. (I gather he wasn't on the herdpath) and either died instantly or through exposure (he was alone). I don't know if it was determined whether the bear ate him after death or near-death but it is generally thought it wasn't death by the bear, just an opportunistic bear.

Somebody else will sure chime in here. I tried to google it but couldn't come up with anything.


02-02-2005, 12:16 PM
I Was Wondering What Time Of Year This Happened And How Long
Ago? I Read Local Papers Quite Often And Never Read Anything About This Story.

02-02-2005, 01:28 PM
It happened in April a few years ago. John Graham helped organize some 3500 club members to help in the search. I was a member along with other members of the club,along with D.E.C.,and other volunteers.IBM reported him missing after 7 days. He was found about 1/4 mile from the face of Friday Mtn. towards the East side about 11 days after he left his car on Moonhaw Rd.Our group worked the weekend,but I think he was found on Monday.I heard that the body may have been disturbed by animals to put it mildly,possibly a Bear. The D.E.C. asked that the group I was in grid search Cornell Mtn.

02-02-2005, 01:59 PM
I was also on one of the 3500 search teams. I recall hearing that his pack was nearby and open, so it was thought he survived the fall and died sometime later. He was from India, but I'm sorry to say I don't recall his name. Although it would not have mattered, he did not leave word with anyone or a note on his car concerning his solo hiking plans. (Because the car was parked on Moon Haw road though, there were only a few possible peaks involved.)

02-02-2005, 02:37 PM
From the Daily Freeman (5/15/01)

SHANDAKEN - A local hiker was found dead Monday after an intensive eight-day search among the Catskill Mountains' highest peaks, state police at Ulster said.

Schiram Biyani, 48, of Fishkill, was found at the bottom of a 30- to 50-foot cliff about a third of a mile due east of the summit of Friday Mountain at an elevation of 3,400 feet, according to state Forest Ranger Patricia Rudge. Friday Mountain is one of four trailless peaks in the area that reach over 3,500 feet, she said.

"They are the most challenging peaks," Rudge said. "They're the most steep and remote and the trees up on the hill are very thick."

Rudge said rangers believe Biyani was last seen on Sunday, April 29, leaving his vehicle at the parking lot in the town of Olive and heading into the woods. He probably planned to reach the summit of Friday Mountain and return the same day, Rudge said. Biyani was carrying a light pack and had not eaten lunch when he fell, she said. On Monday, May 7, someone called state police to report a car that had been parked on private property for over a week. The following day, his employer at IBM called state police to report Biyani missing.

Rudge said two other rangers, Kevin Burns from Region Four and Adam Pickett from Dutchess County found the man at about 1 p.m. below a ridge, and were assisted by two Stone Ridge volunteers, Larry Larson and Lou Fitzpatrick. They had been doing a "Type Two" search and were on their way to the summit to scan the area below when Burns and Pickett found him, Rudge said. According to Department of Conservation Police Capt. Ray Wood, the search took six rangers, three volunteers, two state police officers and a canine and his handler working 12-hour days for eight days to find the man.

Biyani may have been an aspiring member of the 3,500-foot Club - a group of people who have reached the summits of all peaks over 3,500 feet in the Catskill Mountains - but that is just speculation now, Rudge said.

"I don't know that he was an accomplished bushwacker," Rudge said. "He may have been a novice because he didn't have a full and detailed map. He had a computer printout from a Web site. We do know he enjoyed hiking and has signed in for other trail registers in the area."

Biyani was from India where his mother still lives, but worked for IBM in Fishkill. He had a Ph.D and his employer said he was irreplaceable at work, according to Rudge.

"The moral of the story is to tell people where you're going and to be with somebody when you go hiking," Rudge said. "It took us a week to find him, but we did."

John Graham
02-02-2005, 11:06 PM
We really beat this one to death over on the Catskill 3500 Club Website:

Now we have another incident to get excited about:

Body of missing hiker found in Putnam park

CARMEL -- The body of a hiker missing for the past four weeks was
discovered Friday afternoon by a Fishkill man.
Myung Geuk Choi, a 63-year-old man from Flushing, Queens, was reported
missing by his daughter Jan. 2 after he failed to return from a hiking
excursion at Hudson Highlands State Park.

Searches by more than 100 law enforcement officials, forest rangers and
other search and rescue volunteers had previously been unsuccessful.

Frank Amenta, a rock and ice climber from Fishkill, hiked about half a mile
from Route 9D to get a better look at an ice floe he'd never climbed, when
he stumbled upon the body.

He remembered newspaper reports about the missing hiker.

''That came to me right away,'' Amenta said.

Amenta climbed back down the path and down to the village hall in Cold
Spring to report the discovery.

Choi may have died from a fall from a nearby 100-foot-high cliff, the New
York State Park Police and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

Copyright 2005, Poughkeepsie Journal .

Jay H
02-03-2005, 06:38 AM
...and the results of the autopsy, as posted on the Yahoo 3500 group site:

Autopsy done on missing hiker

(Original publication: February 3, 2005)

An autopsy on a New York City man whose body was found last week in the
Hudson Highlands State Park, four weeks after he went missing, shows that
he died from blunt-force trauma.

The ruling by John Stahl, the Putnam County coroner, appears to support the
theory that Myung Geuk Choi, 63, fell while hiking on the challenging
trails that lead to Breakneck Ridge. The Flushing, Queens, man had
apparently been hiking in the park for years and was familiar with its
terrain, police said.

"From all appearances, the death was caused by a fall from the cliff," said
Capt. William McNamara of the Putnam Sheriff's Office, which is handling
the case with the state park police.

Police were awaiting a toxicology report from the autopsy, McNamara said.

A Fishkill man found Choi around 4 p.m. Friday near the base of a 100-foot
cliff after hiking into the park to admire ice formations on the side of
the cliff, police said. The area from where police think Choi fell was
several hundred feet from the nearest marked trail. Choi had been missing
since Jan. 2, when he went hiking in the park with a Korean-American woman
in her 60s. Choi, a contractor in the construction business, is also of
Korean descent, police said.

Choi's daughter, Jean, reported him missing to the Sheriff's Office in the
early morning hours of Jan. 3, prompting a search over several days by more
than 100 police officers and volunteers. The search was scaled back after a
Jan. 11 snowstorm, but it was still in effect when Choi's body was found.

According to the police account, Choi and his companion, who were members
of a New York City hiking club, took a train from the Bronx to Cold Spring
on the morning of Jan. 2 and walked to the 14,000-acre park. Once on the
trails that lead to Breakneck Ridge, the woman and Choi parted ways when
they came upon two men, described as Asian, possibly Korean. The woman told
police it appeared that Choi knew the men.

Choi told the woman that he would meet her back at the train station as he
walked off with the men. The woman went back to Cold Spring and, after
waiting for Choi, took a train back to the city, where she notified a
member of their hiking club. The member notified Jean Choi, who then went
to Cold Spring with friends to look for her father on the night of Jan. 2.
She reported her father missing around 12:40 a.m. the next morning.

McNamara said the two men seen with Choi came forward a couple of days
after he was reported missing. Investigators spoke with them and were
confident they were not involved in Choi's disappearance, he said.


02-03-2005, 08:50 PM
two very sad stories.