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February 17, 2015 at 3:25 PM

Gorge death: Man in 2009 hiking party accused of murder

The Associated Press

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — A hiking companion has been accused of murder in the death of a woman who fell from a trail six years ago in the Columbia Gorge.

The Oregonian reports that Hood River County officials are holding Stephen Wagner Nichols without bail.

Authorities say the Bend, Ore., man was arrested in San Francisco and booked into the Northern Oregon Region Corrections Facility early Friday.

Authorities said 23-year-old Rhonda Casto fell 100 feet to her death in March 2009.

She fell down a steep section of trail pitted with wire cables and pipe handrails, which help hikers navigate the narrow, slippery terrain.

Officials said that an indictment and arrest warrant were issued for the 40-year-old suspect in April 2014.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: hiking accident, homicide, Hood River County

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