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Venom killed Arizona climber covered with bee stings

Published May 9, 2013 11:19 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

TUCSON, Ariz. • A medical examiner says a Tucson climber founded dead, hanging from a southern Arizona cliff in his climbing gear, died from venom from bee stings.

Steven Johnson had hundreds of bee stings when found Monday in the Santa Rita Mountains. And the Arizona Daily Star reports that Dr. Gregory Hess says venom killed Johnson.

The 55-year-old was last seen Friday when he went hiking, and a search began Monday when friends got worried because he didn't go to work.

Searchers found both Johnson and his dog dead. The dog was on the top of the cliff and also had been stung. It was buried on the mountain.

A climber who went to the area Monday says Johnson's rope was hanging within a few feet of a beehive.