Man found dead on Piestewa Peak apparently fell


by The Associated Press and

Video report by Amanda Goodman

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 18 at 10:13 AM

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police say a 79-year-old Glendale man whose body was found in a ravine just off a Phoenix mountain park trail apparently had fallen.
Sgt. Trent Crump says Jack Peyton's body was found Tuesday. He'd been reported missing after he'd told a friend Monday he was going to hike Piestewa Peak in north-central Phoenix.

On Tuesday morning, the concerned friend stopped by the leasing office at Greentree Apartments in Glendale, where Peyton had lived.

"I just didn't feel right because the look on this man's face was sincere concern," said apartment manager Erica Neuman.

She looked up Peyton's cellphone number and gave him a call, but it wasn't Peyton who answered.

"The man said, 'No, I'm so sorry. This isn't Jack. I'm not sure who that is. I found this phone,' " Neuman recalled.

She called police, who found Peyton's car parked in the lot and then his body about 40 feet from the trail.

"Taking that extra step was able to kind of precipitate this investigation," Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O'Neill said of Neuman's decision to call Peyton. "Unfortunately, a tragic end to this investigation."

The apartment staff was devastated to hear the news.

"We always loved to see Jack. He just brought a lot of positive spirit, so he always made our day," said Tina Harms, who works in the office.

She said Peyton would come into the office and make animal balloons for the staff, then wish everyone a good day.

"He was so special," Neuman said. "Just seeing him walk in the door, he brought a smile to your face."

Peyton regularly worked out in the apartment complex gym and was described as an avid hiker.

"At least he went doing what I know he absolutely loved," Harms said.

Crump says there's no indication of foul play.