Couple Missing For 2 Days Die After Falling 100 Feet In National Park

(Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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The bodies of two hikers who had gone missing for two days were recovered Saturday from Acadia National Park in Maine after they fell around 100 feet from ice-covered cliff bands, National Park Service (NPS) officials said.

Searchers on foot discovered the bodies of 28-year-old Wayne Beckford and 30-year-old Kassandra Caceres late Saturday morning, the NPS said in a statement. The two hikers were Rutland, Massachusetts natives and had arrived in Bar Harbor, Maine earlier Tuesday.

The couple was last heard from Thursday around noon, according to the NPS. Family members expressed concerns Friday afternoon when the couple did not check out of their hotel on schedule or return to their vehicle.

NPS initiated a search Friday evening after the family was unable to contact the couple and reported them missing.

NPS later conducted an overnight search near Dorr and Cadillac Mountains, with the help of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter equipped with thermal imaging sensors capable of detecting heat signatures, according to the agency.

The overnight search was unsuccessful, but officials said the NPS was able to recover the bodies after dispatching a ground team Saturday morning in “high probability areas.” The ground team consisted of NPS rangers, 15 volunteers with the Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue and a helicopter from the Maine Forest Service. (RELATED: Man Falls 95 Feet To His Death At Death Valley National Park)

NPS rangers and Maine State Police are currently leading an investigation into the deaths, with assistance from the Bar Harbor Police Department, officials said.

Acadia National Park is one of the nation’s most visited national parks, attracting more than 3.5 million visitors a year. The park has also been described as the “crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast.”