UK & World News

  • 9 May 2013, 10:29

Bee Stings 'May Have Killed Arizona Climber'

A climber found dead and covered with bee stings may have disturbed the insects by hammering a spike into an Arizona cliff, authorities have said.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said the body of 55-year-old Steven Johnson was found hanging from a cliff in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said: "He had been stung repeatedly and he was dangling there.

"He was climbing the cliff and was about 70ft up and still had about 80ft to go, so he really didn't have anywhere to go when he was attacked by this swarm of bees."

He said Johnson's dog had also been attacked by bees and was found dead nearby.

The medical examiner's office was conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of Mr Johnson's death.

Sheriff's Lieutenant Raoul Rodriguez said Mr Johnson may have disturbed the bees by hammering a spike as he attempted to scale the cliff.

He was last seen Friday when he went hiking, and friends became worried when he did not show up for work on Monday.