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Family of hiker missing in Joshua Tree National Park believes his death is tied to alcohol withdrawal complications

Update 1/31/24

The Riverside County Coroner's Office positively identified the skeletal remains found in Joshua Tree National Park as that of Trammell Evans.

The cause of death remains undetermined, as the Coroner Bureau’s investigation is ongoing.

Original Report 1/30/23

Since skeletal remains were discovered on January 25 in Joshua Tree National Park, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department has assumed responsibility for the investigation.

According to a statement issued Tuesday by the National Park Service, the remains were found off a trail in the Black Rock area of the park, after researchers found an unattended backpack, which was later confirmed as belonging to Trammell Evans.

The search for Evans started a few days after he was last seen at the campground on April 30, 2023.

While the Riverside County Coroner's Bureau has not determined the identity and cause of death, the family of Trammell Evans believe, as reported by News Channel 3, that the remains are that of their loved one.

On Sunday, the family shared a post on Facebook which stated that it appears Evans died from complications related to alcohol withdrawal. The post stated, "In his final journal entry, filled with optimism but also concern regarding the symptoms of withdrawal, Tram expressed his love for everyone, reminding us that 'love is what life is all about.' He sought healing through being in nature, but underestimated the challenges of his condition."

"Alcohol withdrawal really lies upon the spectrum largely based upon a person's use history and the last time they used", according to Dr. Tunde Bosu, Associate Medical Director at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage.

He said symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from a hangover, anxiety, tremors, and sweating in mild cases. More severe cases involve Delirium Tremens (DTs), which are characterized by visual and auditory hallucinations, vomiting, confusion, high blood pressure, and potentially cardiovascular collapse.

"It's never good to quit alcohol cold turkey," said Dr. Bosu. He recommended that anyone struggling with alcohol abuse seek proper treatment when attempting to overcome alcohol addiction.

The Betty Ford Center offers substance abuse treatment services, but anyone in search of help can also call the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

Watch News Channel 3 at 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. tonight for more on the story.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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