NJ hiker found in New Hampshire

Alexander “Greg” Auriemma, 63, a Brick, N.J. attorney and chairman of the Ocean County Sierra Club, was found dead after going missing on a hiking trip in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

The body of New Jersey resident Alexander “Greg” Auriemma was found Thursday, a few weeks after he was reported as missing while hiking in the White Mountains ago, according to the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department.

Auriemma, 63, of Brick, N.J. was an attorney who is also chairman of the Ocean County chapter of the Sierra Club, which said he was an active member of the environmental group for 20 years.

An avid hiker who was  integral to lobbying efforts in a number of Ocean County environmental issues, Auriemma helped upgrade the Metedeconk River to a Category 1 waterway and protected Trader’s Cove in Brick, said New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.

Auriemma also advocated for the early closure of Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, fought a gas pipeline, and was recognized by President Barack Obama as a “Champion of Change,” Tittel said.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Greg Auriemma. He was a good friend and a champion for the environment,” Tittel said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his friends and family and to all of us who love him. Now is the time for remembering all the great things Greg did; his environmental work and activism will live on.”

Auriemma triggered a massive search operation when he was reported missing after failing to return from his hiking trip on July 5. Tittel said Auriemma had been looking forward for months to his trip hiking in a place he loved.

The Fish and Game agency initially developed information that Auriemma had stayed in the area of the Mizpah Spring Hut in Bean’s Grant on or about June 28.

His tent, rucksack and sleeping bag were located by a search and rescue team confirmed on Saturday, July 15, in a remote area of the White Mountains, by the Dry River Trail in Cutts Grant, according to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

A ground search of the Dry River drainage was conducted by that search team and the area was also searched by air with a New Hampshire National Guard Blackhawk helicopter.

The Dry River area is a very remote portion of the White Mountains; searchers had to hike about four hours to access the area to begin searching.

Hikers in that area were interviewed by Fish and Game Conservation Officers to try to obtain additional information.

Fish and Game Conservation Officers had been assisted in the search by the Upper Valley Wilderness Search and Rescue, New England K-9 Search and Rescue, Pemigewassett Valley Search and Rescue, the Appalachian Mountain Club, US Forest Service, a NH State Police search team, Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue, and NH State Forest Rangers.

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