San Diego teacher found dead in Joshua Tree National Park
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A San Diego teacher was found dead earlier this week in Joshua Tree National Park, the National Park Service reported Wednesday.
A Riverside County coroner’s office press release identified the victim as Michael Spitz, 35, who was found just before 10 a.m. Monday at the base of the Sentinel Wall near the Hidden Valley Nature Trail.
According to a Facebook post from Santa Fe Christian Schools in Solana Beach, Spitz was employed there as an Upper School Spanish teacher and died in a rock-climbing accident. The coroner’s office did not disclose details regarding the circumstances of Spitz’s death, but stated that he sustained an unspecified injury at around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
The school’s statement also said Spitz co-founded Vida Outreach –a Baja California-nonprofit — and described him as a “multi-sport adventure athlete, life-long surfer, avid rock climber, licensed skydiver, backpacker, and lover of books and coffee.
“Michael Spitz’s passion for the Lord was infectious and came out in every conversation,” the school’s post continued. “This, combined with a love for the kids, made us a better school,”
According to the NPS, a multi-agency investigation headed by the Riverside County coroner’s office was ongoing.