Mummified Remains of Missing American Mountaineer Found 22 Years After He Vanished in Peru

An American climber's mummified remains have been found 22 years after he vanished in Peru

Published Time: 09.07.2024 - 15:31:04 Modified Time: 09.07.2024 - 15:31:04

An American climber's mummified remains have been found 22 years after he vanished in Peru.

On Monday, July 8, the Peruvian National Police released a handout picture showing officers evacuating 59-year-old William Stampfl's body from a mountain in the Ancash region, around 270 miles north of the capital Lima. Police confirmed the climber's clothes were in good condition.

Per the AFP, police said the hiker's "remains were finally exposed by ice melt on the Cordillera Blanca range of the Andes" more than two decades after he was reported missing in June 2002.

The news agency stated that Stampfl vanished after an avalanche hit his group on Mount Huascarán, which stands at over 22,000 feet high and is the highest peak in Peru.

According to CBS News, the climber's body, including his harness, and boots, were all well-preserved when he was discovered.

Peruvian police identified Stampfl by his passport, which was found at the scene, per AFP.

The Peruvian authorities didn't immediately respond when contacted by PEOPLE.

In November 2023, Peruvian scientists told the Associated Press that the country had lost over half its glacier surface in the past 60 years as averag -

e temperatures around the world increased.

“In 58 years, 56.22% of the glacial coverage recorded in 1962 has been lost,” glaciology expert Mayra Mejía, who is an official with Peru’s National Institute of Research of Mountain Glaciers and Ecosystems (Inaigem), said, per the outlet.

Mejía told the news agency that glaciers had almost disappeared within some of the country's mountain ranges.

The discovery of Stampfl's remains comes after a climber named Marta Emilia Altamirano's body was found attached to a glacier in February 2023, nearly 42 years after she suffered an accident while on an expedition in the Andes.

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Per The Independent, Altamirano, also known as Patty, died at age 20 in March 1981 after she slipped at around 16,000 feet high before she fell to her death.

The outlet stated her sister Corina, who was also on the climb, confirmed the news at the time, but authorities struggled to find Altamirano's remains over the years.

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