Friends and family Thursday were mourning the son of a prominent San Diego restaurateur who appeared as a contestant on "The Bachelorette'' TV show in 2009.

Riverside County sheriff's deputies found 35-year-old Julien Hug dead around 11 a.m. Wednesday near a vehicle in a remote off-roading area, about 45 miles away from Highway 74 in Riverside County on Wednesday, according to several published reports.

"All of a sudden I heard that they knew it was him and I just couldn't believe it," said Trace Mccullough, Hug's friend. "I just miss the guy, it's devastating."

Mccullough met Hug during their freshmen year in college and have sustained a good friendship for the last 18 years.

"My heart goes out to his parents, Denise and Bertrand. I can't imagine what they are going through," said another friend.

Hug's father Bertrand told a television news station that his son was on his way to help manage the family's newest restaurant in Palm Desert, Augusta Modern. He was last heard from two days ago when his cell phone went dead while he was driving somewhere on Highway 74, the elder Hug said.

Hug was a 1993 graduate of Torrey Pines High School. He was an only child and had a love for sky diving and motorcycling. If you walk down the Rancho Santa Fe Street, where his family owns the well-known Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe and Bertrand at Mister A's, you'd find he was a local celebrity.

"I have never heard anything bad about him," said Carl Larsen.

In 2009, his good looks and personality landed him a spot on season five of "The Bachelorette." Hug was one of thirty guys vying for Jillian Harris' love.

On Thursday Harris tweeted "Please say a prayer for the loss of a friend this morning. Life is fragile, don't forget to love the ones you love."

The cause of death was not immediately clear. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, November 5th.