San Francisco PG&E worker found dead in Tahoe lake during backpacking trip

Photo of Joshua Bote
Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness, Calif.

Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness, Calif.

WildLivingArts/Getty Images/iStockphoto

A San Francisco man was found dead in a lake by the Tahoe Rim Trail on Wednesday afternoon just days after his campsite was found in disrepair, his sister confirmed to SFGATE. 

Jia Huang, a 32-year-old who worked for PG&E as a senior data scientist, embarked on a solo backpacking trip from Mount Tallac on the Tahoe Rim Trail on Wednesday, June 22, according to a digital flyer distributed by Lai Wong, his sister.

On Monday afternoon, a hiker spotted Huang’s tent turned upside-down and seemingly abandoned, along with a food canister, a backpack and a wallet, on the north side of Lake Aloha near the Rubicon Trail. When the tent was still upside-down the next morning, the hiker reached out to authorities to report Huang's disappearance based on the ID in the wallet.

Wong received a call from police later that day. Huang did not pick up any of Wong's calls, she said in a Facebook post earlier this week.

After a two-day search for Huang by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office search and rescue unit, Wong confirmed to SFGATE that her brother was found in the lake. 

“We are saddened to hear of the death of our coworker, Jia Huang, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues," a PG&E spokesperson told SFGATE in a statement Thursday afternoon. "He was a senior data scientist who had worked for PG&E for 10 years."

The company declined to provide further details about Huang.

The timeline of his disappearance remains unclear. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE.