Yosemite officials: body found was hiker lost over falls

Officials today confirmed that a body found last week was that of one of two Central Valley hikers missing since being swept over Vernal Fall in July.

Yosemite National Park Rangers also found a second body near the same area on Saturday; an autopsy will be conducted to confirm if it is the second missing hiker.

A ranger searching in the Merced River found the body of Ninos Yacoub on Nov. 29. It was about 100 feet below the Vernal Fall footbridge, park spokesman Scott Gediman said. A swift-water rescue team recovered the body and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department conducted an autopsy

On Saturday, a ranger searching in the same general area, about a half-mile from the falls, found another body. A Mariposa pathologist will conduct an autopsy to determine whether it is that of Ramina Badal.

Badal, 21, Yacoub, 27, and Hormiz “Nenos” David, 22, fell into the river and were swept over the 317-foot waterfall July 19 while on a day trip to Yosemite National Park with friends. Search crews found and recovered David’s body Aug. 5.

All three hikers were from the Central Valley — Badal lived in Manteca, Yacoub in Turlock and David in Modesto.

Badal’s father, Tony, said this afternoon the family is waiting for further word from park rangers or the coroner’s office, expected later this week.

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