Heat a factor in death of Ohio resident backpacking at Grand Canyon

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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, AZ – NOVEMBER 11: The Grand Canyon is viewed at sunrise from the South Rim adjacent to the El Tovar Hotel on November 11, 2019, in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Grand Canyon National Park, often considered one of the “Wonders of the World,” was officially designated a national park on February 26, 1919, and is celebrating its Centennial this year. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — An Ohio resident on a backpacking trip at the Grand Canyon has died of a suspected heat-related illness.

Park officials said Monday that 53-year-old Michelle Meder died over the weekend while hiking down a rocky, strenuous trail amid a heat wave. They say Meder became disoriented and later unconscious.

The park is working with the local medical examiner’s office on an exact cause of death.

The U.S. West has been enduring a heat wave with triple-digit temperatures in many locations. The temperature at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon hit 115 degrees on Sunday, tying the previous record for the day.

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