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Rescuer realizes dead climber is his ex-wife

Climber dies in El Diablo canyon
Diablo Canyon (pictured above) is a popular climbing spot near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

On Monday, a volunteer rescue worker happened upon a tragic and shocking scene, when he found out the body he was sent to retrieve from a popular climbing spot in New Mexico was his ex-wife’s.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Scott Hicks and fellow volunteer rescue workers were called to the Diablo Canyon climbing spot northwest of Santa Fe after a 59-year-old woman was reported as having fallen 175 feet to her death.

Upon arrival, Hicks heard one of the climbers who was with the deceased mention an address he recognized.

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After reading over the incident report, Hicks was alarmed to learn that the fallen climber was his ex-wife, Susan Sarossy.

“Of course I recognized [the address],” Hicks told the newspaper. “So I looked at the paper [report] and saw her name, and that's when I realized it was my ex-wife.”

Hicks and Sarossy were married for 19 years before divorcing in 1999. The 58-year-old Hicks told reporters that while he and Sarossy were still married, Sarossy got into mountain climbing as a way to cope with her fear of heights.

Over the years, Hicks said Sarossy became an extremely experienced climber and was shocked to find out the fate that had befallen his one-time wife.

“She always told me, 'I don't know what I'm doing rock climbing because I'm afraid of heights, but I think this is way for me to face that fear,'” Hicks told the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The pair have a 25-year-old daughter together. When asked about how he will remember Sarossy, a grief-stricken Hicks told the New York Daily News that her contributions as a mother will be what sticks with him.

“She was very free and giving of her time, very nonjudgemental,” he said. “A great mother.”

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