SAFETY

Report released on Zion National Park search for missing woman

Mar 12, 2021, 1:30 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2021, 1:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY- Documents have been released about the search for a missing hiker in Zion National Park last fall.

Report on the missing woman at Zion National Park

The papers are heavily redacted, which leaves a number of questions still unanswered about the entire incident.

One thing that is made clear, is that the National Park Service spent more than $60,000 looking for Holly Suzanne Courtier of Los Angeles.

Authorities say crews began searching for Courtier after she didn’t show up for her scheduled pickup in the park by a private shuttle on October 6.

Daily searches for her started soon afterward, which included the use of rangers, dogs, drones and helicopters.

Courtier’s family, who was also in Southern Utah at the time, organized their own daily searches.

After rangers found Courtier on October 18, they took her to a park building where she agreed to be interviewed.

Whatever she told them is not included in the most recent report.

“In this case, the harm to personal privacy is greater than whatever public interest may be served by disclosure and would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy,” Zion National Park officials said in a statement.

“She’s really lucky”

The heavily redacted report fails to address how exactly Courtier became stranded and also how she was able to stay alive for 12 days.

Phil Lowry, a wilderness expert and former search and rescue team member, says she was fortunate to have been found not even a day later.

“She’s really lucky,” he explains. “Outside of that window, you don’t expect to find anybody alive. It’s going to be a recovery rather than a rescue.”

At the time of the rescue, Courtier’s family released a statement saying: “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.”

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Report released on Zion National Park search for missing woman