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‘Overjoyed’: Missing Zion National Park hiker Holly Courtier found alive after 12 days

Steve Kiggins
 
| USA TODAY

A California woman who was missing for nearly two weeks at Zion National Park in Utah was found safely on Sunday and reunited with her family.

Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, hadn’t been seen since riding a private shuttle into the park’s Grotto area on Oct. 6. Her disappearance prompted multiple search and rescue efforts that were complicated by the fact that Courtier didn’t have a cell phone and hadn’t left a trip itinerary.

Park rangers located Courtier after receiving a “credible tip from a park visitor,” the National Park Service said in a news release, adding that Courtier has since left the park with her family.

“We are overjoyed that she was found safely today,” Courtier’s family said in a statement released by the park service. “We would like to thank the rangers and search teams who relentlessly looked for her day and night and never gave up hope. We are also so grateful to the countless volunteers who were generous with their time, resources and support. This wouldn’t have been possible without the network of people who came together.”

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The search for Courtier brought together federal, state and local resources, including the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Grand Canyon National Emergency Service Team, plus park staff and volunteers.

The Park Service statement did not include any information about Courtier’s health or her whereabouts for the past 12 days.

Courtier was reported missing by her family on Oct. 8, two days after failed to return to the shuttle after heading out on the Kayenta Trail toward the Emerald Pools. Her vehicle was discovered in the nearby town of Springdale, at the park’s southwest entrance, early in the search, Zion officials had said.

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Courtier’s daughter, Kailey Chambers, told CBS Los Angeles last week that her mom had been traveling the country in a converted van after losing her job due to the coronavirus pandemic. She described her as an “experienced hiker” who was familiar with Zion National Park.

“I know she would not give up on me, so I refuse to give up on her,” Chambers told the TV station. “I don’t care if I’m the only person on the trail looking for her, I’m not going to stop until I find her.”

Contributing: K. Sophie Will, The Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Source : USA TODAY | News Colony

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