Angela Tramonte died Friday during a hike down an Arizona mountain. Police suspect that the 31-year-old woman succumbed to heat exhaustion in the blistering Arizona heat while trekking down the 2,706-foot peak in Phoenix.
Tramonte was on a date with a man she’d met on Instagram when tragedy struck. According to reports, the amateur hiker cut her trek short and “turned around halfway” up the Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. The man, determined to finish the hike, continued on the path while Angela Tramonte walked back alone in the unforgiving Arizona heat.
At around 4:40 p.m. on Friday, Tramonte was found dead off the Echo Canyon Trail near a home on the northeast side of Camelback Mountain. Phoenix Fire Department said on Twitter that “after an extensive search,” they found Tramonte. “The 30’s female was pronounced deceased and this will now be a death investigation lead by Phoenix PD.”
For Tramonte’s friends, there is more to the investigation. They want the police to find answers and understand what happened to the young woman. They don’t understand why her date didn’t walk her back down the mountain when she was tired.
Police said that the man hiking with Angela Tramonte called the cops around four hours before her body was found. He explained that she was an amateur hiker that she had turned around halfway. He told police that she might be overheated.
When authorities arrived in the parking lot they found Tramonte’s car with all her belongings still inside. The search was on and when rescue teams finally located Angela Tramonte, she was unresponsive. All attempts to revive her failed and she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Ron McDade.
Reports say that Tramonte was from Saugus, Massachusetts, and was visiting Phoenix for the first time. It’s unclear whether she was taken off guard by the extensive Arizona heat. But it is very likely she did not drink enough water.
Angela Tramonte’s companion in the hike works as a police officer, her friends pointed out. When she expressed the need to stop, he was intent on continuing the journey. There are difficult questions that have been left unanswered and Tramonte’s friends are adamant to understand what happened.
“If somebody’s walking up a mountain and you’re seeing her in distress and she’s not feeling well and she’s exhausted – why wouldn’t you walk her back down?” Tramonte’s friend Stacey Gerardi pointed out. “Why would you continue to walk back up? It doesn’t make sense.”
While police do not suspect foul play, Gerardi is looking for justice. Angela Tramonte had only been in Phoenix for a day, according to her friend. “Not even 24 hours and she’s dead,” Gerardi explained. “We want justice. We want answers. We need to keep pushing. That was my sister. We had 25 years of friendship.”
Angela Tramonte’s friends set up a GoFundMe page that has since raised over $35,500. The post attached says all donations will “help us bring Angela’s body home and pay for funeral expenses.” Her friends also express the need for justice in this case.
“Angela lived a very healthy, active lifestyle,” the GoFundMe page read. “She woke up early every morning to go the gym. She did weekly meal planning and was obsessed with drinking water. She also loved walking her dog Dolce every day. There are many inconsistencies in the timeline and facts that just don’t make any sense.”
Authorities said that Tramonte’s cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner. It’s suspected that she succumbed to heat exhaustion and became delirious. While unable to effectively seek aid, she likely died of dehydration or another heat-related side effect. Investigators said Angela Tramonte did not have any water with her when she was found and temperatures in Arizona were pushing toward 104 degrees.
McDade explained to The Boston Globe that “at that point in time, [she] could have conceivably been in the early stages of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, where you become delirious, and unfortunately, your faculties are not about you.”
He said that the Arizona heat is “very unforgiving… This mountain doesn’t care who you are, or how great of a hiker or an experienced hiker you are. The mountain, in a situation like that, usually wins.”
The man Tramonte was hiking with was experienced and had hiked the Camelback Mountain “from the top to the bottom” on several occasions. McDade explained that it’s not a good idea to hike in such extreme heat or to split up at any point in the trek. He said that “If you start as a group, you end as a group.”