IDYLLWILD, Calif. — Two rock climbers, including former Dallas Cowboys and Ravens tight end Gavin Escobar, were found dead near a Southern California peak after rescue crews responded to reports of injuries, authorities said.
Rescuers were called around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to Tahquitz Rock near Idyllwild following a distress call, the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said on Twitter.
A team managed to climb into the steep, remote area and found both unidentified climbers dead at the scene, the department said.
They were identified Thursday as Chelsea Walsh, 33, and Gavin Escobar, 31.
A small amount of rain fell in the area earlier in the day, but officials didn’t immediately say whether the weather was a factor in the deaths.
Escobar was a Long Beach firefighter who was hired in February, the department said.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Escobar out of San Diego State in the second round in 2013. He played 62 games for them, starting seven, from 2013 to 2016, and made 30 catches for 333 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed Escobar in April 2017, then cut him at the end of the preseason. With Maxx Williams and Benjamin Watson ailing, the Ravens signed him Oct. 23. Escobar got into two games without making a reception before being waived Nov. 18 to make room on the roster for veteran running back Danny Woodhead and released two days later.
Escobar had short stints with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins in 2018 but didn’t get into any games. He completed his playing career in 2019 with the now-defunct Alliance of American Football.
Tahquitz Rock, with its steep granite cliffs, is a popular destination for climbers.
Two climbers from Los Angeles fell 200 feet to their deaths on the rock in 2000, according to the Los Angeles Times.