Walter Scheib
Former White House chef found dead
01:01 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

The body of former White House executive chef Walter Scheib was found Sunday in the mountains of New Mexico where he had gone hiking, officials said.

Scheib, who served under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, had been absent since June 13 when he left to go for a hike alone on a mountain trail in Taos, New Mexico. He was later reported missing by a family member.

On Thursday, investigators tracked Scheib’s cell phone signal to a mountain in Taos, the Department of Public Safety said.

Scheib had recently moved to the area, according to Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo, a New Mexico State Police public information officer.

Investigators discovered Scheib’s car Tuesday in a parking lot at the Yerba Canyon Trailhead.

His body was found off the immediate trail about 1.7 miles from the base of a hiking trail.

Scheib was White House executive chef from 1994 to 2005. Scheib was personally hired by then-first lady Hillary Clinton, according to Scheib’s official website.

“Hillary and I are saddened by the tragic passing of former White House executive chef Walter Scheib,” the Clintons said in a statement Monday.

“Our family was grateful to have Walter with us in the White House for six years, where we and visitors from around the world loved his delicious and creative meals,” the statement said. “Walter used his immense talents not only to represent the very best of American cuisine to visiting leaders, but to make a difference in people’s lives across the country through his support of numerous charities. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends.”

On Monday, former first Lady Laura Bush issued a statement expressing sympathy for Scheib’s loved ones.

“Walter was an outstanding talent. He prepared magnificent dinners for world leaders and delicious family fare for our family and friends,” Bush said.

CNN’s Christine Sever and Dan Merica contributed to this report