(CNN)A volunteer rescue worker died Saturday while searching for a hiker on Mount Baldy in California, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

Timothy Staples, of the West Valley Search and Rescue team, was among those looking for Sreenivas “Sree” Mokkapati, a 52-year-old reported missing December 8 while hiking to the Mount Baldy summit.

At 1 p.m. local time Saturday, Staples’ partner said on the radio they had become separated from each other, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

A helicopter from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office responded and found Staples unresponsive “in an area of ice and snow,” the sheriff said.

A medic was lowered to Staples, 32, but he was already dead, the sheriff’s department said.

CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.