From the Imperial Valley News:
A body was discovered in the Palo Verde mountain area on Monday, said Lt. George Moreno from Imperial County Sheriff's Department.
The Palo Verde mountain area is 60 miles northeast of Brawley.
Authorities have not confirmed if the body is that of missing mixed martial arts fighter, Evan Tanner, who had fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Tanner, 37, has been missing since last weekend.
Tanner's friends from Oceanside, where Tanner resides, had been texting him without reply since Wednesday before they reported him missing on Friday.
On Sunday, a campsite was discovered in the Clapp Springs area of the Palo Verde mountains. Tanner's motorcycle was found at the campsite. A body was found today when a sheriffs deputy was flying around the general location of the campsite.
This is terrible news.
From Evan Tanner's blog:
I'm hoping that very soon I'll be sitting out in the quiet of the desert beneath a deep blue midnight sky, listening to the calm desert breeze. The idea going into the desert came to me soon after I moved to Oceanside. It was motivated by my friend Sara's talk of treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration. I began to imagine what might be found in the deep reaches of the untracked desert. It became an obsession of sorts.
"Treasure" doesn't necessarily refer to something material.
Today, I ran to the store to pick up a few things, and with the lonesome, quiet desert thoughts on my mind, I couldn't help but be struck with their brutally stark contrast to my current surroundings, the amazing congestion in which we exist day to day. The landscape as far as I could see, crowded, choked, with me and the rest of the species, an almost writhing mass of organisms, fighting over space and resources,....on the highways, in the parking lots, on the sidewalks, and in the ailse of the stores. And to think, there are still places in the world where man has not been, where he has left no footprints, where the mysteries stand secure, untouched by human eyes. I want to go to these places, the quiet, timeless, ageless places, and sit, letting silence and solitude be my teachers.
I've been gathering my gear for this adventure for over a month, not a long time by most standards, but far too long for my impatient nature. Being a minimalist by nature, wanting to carry only the essentials, and being extremely particular, it has been a little difficult to find just the right equipment. I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life. I've been doing a great deal of research and study. I want to know all I can about where I'm going, and I want to make sure I have the best equipment.
One more week. I think one more week, and I'll be ready to go.
Hopefully Tanner is ok.
HT MMA Mania
[UPDATE from Luke Thomas]: Cage Potato has the confirmation from Tanner's manager:
Hayner said that Tanner had gone into the desert on a motorcycle expedition and had run out of gas. Tanner was attempting to walk out of the desert, Hayner said, but apparently didn’t realize how far away from civilization he was and died of exposure in the triple-digit heat. Tanner’s empty campsite was spotted Sunday, and an aerial search located his body earlier this afternoon.
“Here was a famous UFC fighter who didn’t have enough food to eat at times. I’d call him just to make sure he had food in his fridge, but he never let it get him down. Starting over was kind of a theme in his life. He hardly ever lived in the same place more than six months,” Hayner said. “He moved out to Vegas and then found it too shallow for him, so he moved out to Oceanside and had a great place, he was learning to surf, and he was really enjoying his day-to-day life.”
I'll have more on this tomorrow. All I can say right now is that it is very cliched after someone's tragic death to remark you'll remember "not how they died, but how they lived". Tanner, unfortunately, makes it hard not to do that. While the circumstances of his passing are exceedingly unfortunate, he sought out the adventures life had to offer. And he battled personal demons the entire way through. It wasn't as if the thrill he sought came at no price. Yet, he soldiered on. He never quit. He put on the yoke and continued to pull. He demonstrated the type of character virtually no one in your lifetime can match.
What impresses me most about Tanner in his life are the same qualities he displayed in the Octagon: he didn't always win, but he was known for gutting out amazing wins from the very brink of defeat. Rocked, battered, beaten and bruised, Tanner never quit. What more can be asked of a man?