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Hiker dies in 700 foot fall while trying to take photo at Arizona state park

Lost Dutchman state park flatiron
Posted at 11:54 AM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 11:54:31-05

Officials with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said that a hiker died near Phoenix earlier this week after an apparent fall at Lost Dutchman State Park.

The incident occurred in the Flatiron peak area when the hiker, 21-year-old Richard Jacobson, reportedly went off the trail to take a photo and slipped.

Officials say Jacobson's friend called for help around 1 a.m. local time on Monday to report the fall. The pair were reportedly camping at the top of the mountain when the incident occurred.

His body was found about 700 feet below the summit. PCSO says a helicopter was used to recover his remains.

Paul Blanco, a childhood friend of Jacobson, says the two were inseparable.

“The only thing I can remember is kind of like my ears starting to ring. Just like, shock. Denial. Just like, not being able to believe it,” Blanco said.

He said the two used to hike Flat Iron frequently.

Blanco says Jacobson was passionate about his faith and teaching others, saying he was involved in mission work in Washington and Utah.

This story was originally published by Ashley Loose on Scripps station KNXV in Phoenix.