Hat Leads Officials to Find Body of Missing 76-Year-Old Man, Who Died After Fall from California Cliff

Gregory Noyes' body was found below a cliff's edge at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve in California on May 17, authorities said

<p>Getty</p> Jug Handle State Natural Reserve is a state park unit of California.


Jug Handle State Natural Reserve is a state park unit of California.

Authorities in California say a hat tipped them off to the discovery of a 76-year-old man who died after falling off a 50-foot cliff.

Gregory Noyes, of Point Arena, had been missing for two days when deputies found his body on rocks below the cliff’s edge at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve on Friday, May 17, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

California State Parks officers located Noyes’ vehicle — which had been at the location south of Fort Bragg for several days — in the parking lot of the popular scenic area, the sheriff’s office said.

After conducting a “hasty search” of the park, officers found a large-brimmed hat resting on the cliff’s edge, and then Noyes’ body was located below.

Related: Body of 23-Year-Old Missing Hiker Found on Mills Glacier, Colo., 4 Days After Going Missing

After traversing down the cliff, sheriff's deputies observed that the man had died after suffering severe injuries from the fall.

He was identified based on photographs as well as his California driver’s license, authorities said.

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Noyes was reported missing on May 15 after setting out for Marin County on May 12, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities believe Noyes’ death to be accidental, with no evidence of foul play.

Related: 23-Year-Old Soldier Stationed in Colorado Dead After Falling in Training Accident

The state park has an Ecological Staircase Trail, which features a tour of the “geological updrift” from the coast to the Pygmy Forest, two and a half miles inland.

The park’s operators have cautioned hikers and others to enjoy the unique ecological setting but to “stay back from the cliff edges,” which can be “unstable and can crumble underfoot.”

The sheriff's office is asking anyone with information regarding the incident to call the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.

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