Yosemite Valley, CA– The third hiker swept over Vernal Fall at Yosemite National Park over the summer, has been positively identified.
Park officials say 21-year-old Manteca resident Ramina Badal, was found in the Merced River, approximately 120 yards below the Vernal Fall footbridge, by a Park Ranger at around 1:00 p.m. Saturday. The footbridge is located approximately a half mile below the base of Vernal Fall.
Badal had been missing since July 19th when she, 22-year-old Hormiz David of Modesto, and 27-year-old Ninos Yacoub of Turlock were witnessed being swept over the 317 foot waterfall. The body of David was found on August 5th by Yosemite National Park Rangers and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel approximately 240 feet below the waterfall. The body of Yacoub was found on November 29th by a Park Ranger approximately 100 yards below the Vernal Fall footbridge near the area where Badal was later located.
Yosemite National Park, along with several other agencies, have been searching for the victims since July. Fluctuating water levels in the Merced River, changing weather conditions, and treacherous terrain contributed to a difficult and challenging search. However, with low water levels in the Merced River and dry weather, Park Rangers have been able to access areas within the river corridor that were previously impossible to search.
All three victims of the July 19th incident over Vernal Fall have now been accounted for and positively identified.