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NJ Native, 39, Dies Hiking National Forest In Arizona

Michael Benedetto La Marca, 39, died unexpectedly while hiking at the Tonto National Forest in Arizona Oct. 3.
Michael Benedetto La Marca, 39, died unexpectedly while hiking at the Tonto National Forest in Arizona Oct. 3. Photo Credit: Michael La Marca via Facebook

A New Jersey native died while hiking in a national forest.

Michael Benedetto La Marca, 39, was hiking at Peralta Trailhead in Arizona's Tonto National Forest when he died Oct. 3, according to his obituary.

More than 14,000 acres of the forest he died in was consumed by wildfire on the day of his death, according to  the U.S. Forest Service.

Circumstances around La Marca's death, however, were not made public,

Born in Clinton, La Marca graduated from North Hunterdon Regional High School in 1999.

La Marca had been living in Phoenix and working as the Director of Solar Fleet Performance for Sunnova Energy, his obit says. He earned his bachelor's of science in physics from the University of Michigan and graduated from Arizona State University with a Ph.D in mathematics.

La Marca’s celebration of life is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the Holjes-Sheppard Memorial Park in Lebanon.

Click here for Michael La Marca's complete obituary.

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