Death of Arcadia Firefighter Ruled Accidental, Caused by “Blunt Force”

Mike Herdman, 36, went missing June 13. His body was discovered more than a week later after a mountain search in Ventura County

The death of a California firefighter who went missing during a mountain camping trip has been ruled accidental and caused by "blunt force" injuries, according to the Ventura County medical examiner.

Arcadia firefighter Mike Herdman, 36, disappeared Friday, June 13 during a camping trip in the Los Padres National Forest near Fillmore with a friend and fellow firefighter. His body was found Friday, June 27 less than a mile from where he was last seen. His body was found on a cliff above the Sespe River in rugged terrain.

Investigators said there were no signs of foul play. They theorized that Herdman, last seen chasing after his dog, might have fallen off a cliff.

His dog ran away from the campsite on the night of June 13. A barefoot Herdman gave chase, wearing only a t-shirt and shorts. He was reported missing after his friend hiked for two days out of the remote area. The dog, Duke, was found June 23 in a parking lot where Herdman -- an experienced outdoorsman -- parked his vehicle.

Nearly 90 searchers were in the 50-square mile search area at one point. They were assisted by flight crews and two drones.

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