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Death of missing Camelback Mountain hiker ruled as accidental

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Posted at 11:01 AM, Aug 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-28 14:01:21-04

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner recently ruled the death of a missing Camelback Mountain hiker as accidental.

According to the medical examiner's website, the primary cause of death for 31-year-old Angela Tramonte was determined to be "environmental heat exposure."

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The full medical examiner's report has not been released yet.

On July 30, Tramonte was visiting Phoenix for the first time and went hiking with a man on Echo Canyon Trail.

Tramonte's companion, later identified as Phoenix police officer Dario Dizdar, said she reportedly became overheated halfway up the trail and she decided to turn around and return to their car while he continued on the hike.

He then hiked to the top of the mountain and then returned to the vehicle, and was unable to find her. Crews say the woman's belongings were found inside of the car where she was not.

New information gathered by ABC15 investigators found Dizdar's statement to investigators contradict initial accounts given by fire officials at the scene and an incident report filed by a park ranger who spoke with him on the mountain.

During the search for Angela Tramonte, a fire department spokesperson said Dizdar told crews “he was very familiar with this mountain” and that “he hikes it this time of day all the time from the top to the bottom.”

Fire officials asked ABC15 this week to discontinue using that statement because they said they misunderstood Dizdar at the time.

But a Phoenix park ranger also claimed that Dizdar told him he hiked Camelback often.

“They started hiking together around 10 am with no water but split up. The boyfriend stated that he was a local and did this hike all the time and she was going to go as far as she could and turn around,” according to an incident report filed by the park ranger.

A Phoenix police spokesperson said their department does not know what specific questions were asked by fire and park personnel.

But during his subsequent interview with detectives, Dizdar reported it was his first time hiking the Echo Canyon Trail. He also said he got lost and needed to take an Uber back to the trail’s parking lot.

Dizdar is not considered a suspect by his department. The police spokesperson said he is cooperating and there is no indication of foul play.

Tramonte was from the Boston area and came to Phoenix to meet Dizdar for the first time. The two had been chatting online.

She died less than 24 hours into her trip.

Fire officials say Tramonte was found dead outside a home near the mountain.

Firefighters believe she was attempting to alert someone in the area before she collapsed.