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Missing man found dead after camping in rural SLO County, Sheriff’s Office says

A camper who had been reported missing was found dead Wednesday, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

The body of Michael Tyson Fontenot, 50, was found near Sulphur Pots Campground in rural SLO County east of Santa Margarita, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Authorities were asked to help find Fontenot after the Sheriff’s Office was told he did not arrive at an agreed-upon location to meet someone one week after setting out on a trail near Santa Margarita.

The cause of death is under investigation, though foul play is not suspected, according to the release.

Deputies were dispatched Tuesday morning to locate Fontenot, who was dropped off Dec. 19 at the Rinconada Trail with plans to return to the trailhead by Monday, the release stated.

With aid from a CHP helicopter, sheriff’s deputies and search-and-rescue team members scoured the area for Fontenot but were not able to find him. Additional sheriff’s personnel, including the Aero Squadron, were dispatched to also begin searching, according to the news release.

Fontenot was found Wednesday at the campground, which is near Big Falls Trail and Upper Lopez Canyon Trail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The SLO County coroner’s office is investigating the death.

The U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire and SLO County Parks assisted in the search.

Mark Powell: 805-781-7915

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