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Huntington Beach man found dead in Death Valley, may have ran out of gas in dangerously hot weather

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif.  — A Southern California man was found dead in Death Valley National Park after apparently running out of gas and getting out to walk in the scorching heat, authorities said Wednesday.

Park visitors found the body of David Kelleher on Tuesday, a park statement said.

Kelleher, 67, of Huntington Beach, was about 2 1/2 miles from the vehicle, and apparently was walking from Zabriskie Point toward Furnace Creek, the park said.

He was found about 30 feet from State Route 190, but the highway was obscured by terrain and a mesquite tree, the park said.

Kelleher hadn’t been reported missing but a park ranger spotted a lone vehicle in the Zabriskie Point parking lot on June 11 and remembered it from three days earlier, the park said. It was registered to Kelleher.

“A crumpled note inside Kelleher’s vehicle said, “out of gas,” the park said.

An air and ground search for Kelleher had been limited by temperatures that topped 120 degrees at times, officials said.

Kelleher had been cited for off-road driving at the park on May 30, when he mentioned to a park ranger that he was low on gas.

It was the second reported death this month. The body of John McCarry, 69, of Long Beach, was found in Panamint Valley on June 1.

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