- Walter Scheib, 61, found dead in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Taos
- He had set off to go fishing on Saturday June 13 but failed to return
- Police say Scheib drowned in a mountain drainage 25 yards from trail
- He was executive chef at the White House chef for 11 years under presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush
A former White House chef accidentally drowned on a New Mexico fishing trip before rescue workers found him more than a week after his disappearance, according to an autopsy.
Walter Scheib, 61, was last seen on Saturday June 13 before he headed to hike a trail in the Taos Ski Valley near Taos, where he had recently moved.
After his concerned girlfriend raised the alarm about his disappearance on Tuesday, search teams scoured the mountains from land and air but found no trace of him.
But cell phone data revealed Scheib’s last known location in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and his body was found on Sunday in a mountain drainage flowing with water from a recent storm.
Police say they do not suspect foul play in his death.
His body was discovered approximately 1.7 miles from the base of the Yerba Canyon trail where he had been hiking, authorities said in a statement.
He was ‘submerged in a mountain drainage flowing with surface runoff.’
The area had seen treacherous conditions reported as thunderstorms shook the mountains on the day Scheib was descending around a mountain called Lobo Peak.
Police said that the chef, who was wearing a windbreaker jacket, running pants and sneakers, was found 25 yards away from the trail.
They said his body was hidden from those searching along the trail by ‘dense vegetation and a steep, rocky decline’.
The New Mexico Department of Public Safety previously told the Taos News that data obtained from Scheib’s cellphone suggested he could have encountered trouble during his descent.