After five days of searching, the body of a missing hiker was found in the Dead Sea Tuesday afternoon.
Shai Yaakov Noam, 31, of Rehovot, had been missing since last Friday, when heavy rains caused flooding throughout the Dead Sea area. A police helicopter discovered his body in the northern Dead Sea, just off the coast of Avnat.
Noam was last seen at a youth hostel in Kibbutz Ein Gedi. Thus the search initially focused on the area between Ein Gedi and the Almog junction, though it was hampered by the stormy weather.
On Sunday, searches were also conducted in Rehovot and Jerusalem, after police got a tip that Noam may have hitch-hiked a ride heading toward the latter city. Later in the week, however, the focus returned to the Ein Gedi area, and volunteers from Gush Etzion and Arad joined the search.
Monday night, Noam’s coat and key chain were found on the beach north of Nahal David. His body was ultimately spotted in the Dead Sea very close to shore and pulled out by the police. It will now be sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.