VALYERMO (CNS) — An inmate who walked away from a conservation camp in Valyermo has been found dead not far from the camp, officials said Friday.

The body of Jon Michael Nicholas, 37, who was serving a five-year, four-month sentence after being convicted in Los Angeles County of assault and auto theft charges, was found about 9:10 p.m. Thursday by a hiker near South Fork Campground, about 15 minutes from the Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp southeast of Littlerock, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Camp staff positively identified the remains.

“A cause of death has not yet been determined, and there is an ongoing investigation at this time,” according to a CDCR statement.

Nicholas had been discovered missing from the camp during a routine security check about 4:20 a.m. on April 2, according to the CDCR.

He had been received by the CDCR in August to serve a sentence for assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft auto, according to a department statement.

The Fenner camp is operated by the CDCR and Cal Fire. It provides six fire 17-person crews for fire suppression efforts in Los Angeles, Kern and San Bernardino counties.

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