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Former Stanislaus student falls to death in Yosemite
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A 24-year-old former California State University, Stanislaus student died from an apparent fall while hiking in Yosemite National Park on Friday.

The National Park Service at Yosemite has identified the deceased as Tyler Tompkins.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman said the incident is still under investigation, but all evidence so far indicates Tompkins’s death was caused by an accidental fall.

Tompkins had been working for just a few days at the Yosemite Association’s wilderness center issuing permits for backcountry hiking, Gediman said.

Gediman said Tompkins went out hiking alone after he got off work on Friday afternoon. A pair of rock climbers discovered his body in the Lower Yosemite Falls area on Monday. The area Tompkins was found in is not one of the more remote areas of the park, but it is also not a heavily trafficked area, Gediman said.

CSU Stanislaus confirmed Tompkins had been a student at the university in fall 2009 and had been an agricultural studies major. The university said his hometown is Valenica, though his Facebook page listed it as Frazier Park.

During his time in Turlock, Tompkins became involved with Local Choices, an organization promoting sustainable and healthy living. Tompkins was also involved in Turlock’s Downtown Farmers Market by setting up the group’s Web site. Local Choices is planning a tribute to Tompkins this weekend at the Riverdance Farms Pick and Gather event held at 12230 Livingston-Cressey Road in Livingston.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.