Morgenson, 54, drowned while on a solo backcountry patrol in the Sequoia
and Kings Canyon National Park, California. Rangers began a search for Morgenson after failed to check in with dispatch at the regular time
following the first day of the patrol. An intense search took place but was
called off two weeks later due to lack of clues.
|On Sunday, July 15th, 2001
four off-duty trail crew members found human remains in a stream
drainage northeast of Window Peak, a remote, trailless area within
Kings Canyon National Park. A pack and some equipment were found in
the same area. Rangers and two teams of search dogs were flown to the
site the next day. The search area focused on a stretch of stream
drainage about a quarter mile north of the large lake east of Window
Peak. Among the other items found were a park-issued portable radio
and a ranger uniform shirt with a badge and Morgenson's name tag on
It's believed that Morgenson died due to an accidental fall while
attempting to cross the stream. The place where the remains were
found was within an area of high probability of discovery in the
original search, and had in fact been checked numerous times by
ground searchers and dog teams. It's likely that his body was not
seen due to the high amount of runoff in the stream that summer.
Ranger Morgenson had been with the agency for 28 years and was
survived by his wife.