SAUGUS (CBS) — Grief quickly turned to anger for the friends of 31-year-old Angela Tramonte. The Saugus woman died after hiking in Phoenix, Arizona Friday.
“Not even 24 hours and she’s dead,” said her best friend Stacey Gerardi.
Tramonte was visiting Phoenix for the first time to see a man that she met on Instagram, according to her closest friends. The pair set out on a hike up the notorious Camelback Mountain in the intense July heat when fire officials say Tramonte decided it was too hot and wanted to turn around. Her partner, who friends say is a police officer, wanted to continue to the top, so the pair split up.
The 31-year-old’s body was found near a home at the base of the mountain four hours later. Authorities believe she collapsed while seeking help for heat exhaustion and dehydration.
“Just another reminder of just how unrelenting and unforgiving the elements of the Sonoran Desert can be,” said Captain Rob McDade of the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department.
While Phoenix authorities don’t believe foul play was involved, Tramonte’s closest friends told WBZ-TV the circumstances surrounding her death are suspicious.
“If anybody knew Angela, she wouldn’t go anywhere without a gallon of water in her hand and I heard she was found without any water,” said Melissa Buttaro.
“As a cop, as a first responder, you’re supposed to help people. If somebody’s walking up a mountain and you’re seeing her in distress and she’s not feeling well and she’s exhausted – why wouldn’t you walk her back down,” questioned Gerardi. “Why would you continue to walk back up? It doesn’t make sense.”
While the investigation into her death continues, it’s been incredibly hard for Tramonte’s friends to cope knowing she died alone.
“We want justice. We want answers. We need to keep pushing,” said Gerardi. “That was my sister. We had 25 years of friendship.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help get Tramonte back to Massachusetts.