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Missing hikers' remains found in Yosemite

POSTED December 6, 2011 8:27 p.m.

The human remains found Nov. 29 in Yosemite National Park have been positively identified as that of Ninos Yacoub, one of three hikers who were swept over the swift-moving waterfall last summer.

Park officials also announced the discovery of another body, which was found in the same area as Yacoub. The body was found Saturday and positively identified as Ramina Badal on Tuesday.

Yacoub, a 27-year-old Turlock resident, and Badal, 21, of Manteca were last seen on July 19 with their friend 22-year-old Hormiz David of Modesto. All three were swept off the 317-foot Vernal Fall waterfall.

According to park officials, the three climbed over a metal guardrail and waded into the water about 25 feet from the precipice to take a photo. They lost their footing on the slippery rocks and were swept over. David’s body was found about three weeks later pinned under a boulder under the base of the waterfall.

Just a short time ago the park service halted searches for Badal and Yacoub, saying the forthcoming snow and rain would make conditions too treacherous around the Merced River. However, an extended dry spell has kept the river’s water level lower than expected, allowing for additional searches.

A park ranger patrolling in the area spotted Yacoub’s body on Nov. 29, about 100 yards below the Vernal Fall footbridge. The footbridge is about half a mile below the base of the waterfall. Badal’s body was found in the same general area on Saturday by another ranger on patrol.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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