SAUGUS, MASS. (WHDH) - Grief-stricken friends of a Saugus woman who died while hiking a mountain in Arizona in the scorching heat over the weekend are desperately searching for answers as police continue to investigate her unexpected death.
Angela Tramonte, a 31-year-old fitness fanatic, traveled to Phoenix on Thursday night to meet a man she connected with on Instagram, according to her friends. The following morning, the two departed for a hiking trail on Camelback Mountain.
“I just believe that she thought she was going to go out there and find love,” Stacey Gerardi said of Tramonte. “We never thought that she wasn’t going to come back.”
Tramonte, who always traveled with a gallon of water, was said to be empty-handed when she arrived at the mountain.
“Half way up the trail she wasn’t feeling well, was exhausted, and didn’t think she could go on anymore,” Melissa Buttaro said of her friend.
Tramonte decided to turn back but the man who she was hiking with, a veteran Phoenix police officer, continued on without her, 7NEWS learned.
“Him as a police officer and a first responder, he should have accompanied her back down to make sure that she made it safely,” Tramonte’s friend Sarina Viola said.
The officer later called 911 around 9 p.m. to report that Tramonte never made it to their meeting spot. She was found dead outside a nearby home more than three hours later.
Investigators say they expect Tramonte died of heat exposure and that foul play is not expected.
Tramonte’s friends say the details surrounding her death don’t add up because she always carries a phone and would have called someone if she was sick.
“She did not die of heat exhaustion,” Gerardi added. “I just know it.”
An autopsy is being performed to determine an official cause of death.
The officer who was with Tramonte is said to be cooperating with the investigation.
A GoFundMe has been set up in her honor.
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