The bodies of a California couple killed in a hiking accident were found at a scenic waterfall near Yosemite. 

James Hall, 35, and Monica Ledesma, 34, were located by the Madera County Sheriff's Office at Angel Falls on Wednesday.

Now their devastated families have revealed Hall likely fell in the water while attempting to rescue Ledesma, a mom-of-two. 

Both of their bodies were found after police received a frantic phone call about a woman floating in the water.

'James died a hero trying to save his girlfriend Monica. Unfortunately, they both were taken from us,' his family said in a GoFundMe for his funeral expenses.

Rescuers identified Ledesma and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Crews noticed items that indicated another person might be missing, and they began the desperate search for Hall.

Search and Rescue teams, along with USFS, Madera County Fire & CALFire, Sierra Ambulance and the California Highway Patrol H-40 helicopter were called to the scene.

'Deputies located items which led them to believe an adult male may also be missing. Search efforts to confirm and locate him were then initiated,' Madera County Sheriff's Office said.

'During recovery efforts, a male was subsequently recovered from the water as well.'.

The couple are being remembered as 'kind, loving and goofy.' Ledesma leaves behind an 8-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter. 

'[Monica] was a loving mother sister and daughter who left a daughter and son behind,' a GoFundMe for Ledesma's family said.

A vigil was held at the Chukchansi Pow Wow grounds for the couple on Friday.

'Monica and James were important here, they were important because were family. Not related except by heart. Kindness is something that run thru all of them and they were examples,' friend Nancy O'Hara told KFSN.

'Not only were they kind and considerate, and took care of us old folks, took care of the young folks.'

'Their sense of humor. Especially those are things when we you get older, you really need in your life,' O'Hara said. 

The sheriff's office is warning hikers to take extra precautions while out on the trail. They advised that rocks can be slippery even when they are not wet and the water can become extremely swift and cold. 

Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue said, 'Our hearts go out to the families of those who were lost at Angel Falls today. 

'We would like to thank our allied partners for their outstanding support and response to today's events, whose simultaneous occurrence stretched resources.'

'I applaud the efforts of the rescue and recovery teams, who performed their duties diligently and respectfully.' 

Read more

2024-06-25T01:55:39Z dg43tfdfdgfd