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Body retrieved from 700 feet below canyon rim identified

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Date: May 20, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The body of a young man recovered from below the rim on Friday, May 6, in Grand Canyon National Park, has been identified as that of 24-year old Robert Watson of White Plains, New York.

The body was discovered by a search team on April 25. Due to the inaccessible nature of the terrain, extensive planning and twenty-five personnel were needed to recover the body which was located almost 700 feet below the rim.

Search operations had been ongoing since April 6 as weather and available personnel allowed. The search began with the report of a vehicle that appeared to have been abandoned near the Shrine of the Ages on the South Rim. During their investigations of the vehicle, rangers determined that it was associated with a missing person report filed in White Plains on March 21. Grand Canyon search operations included rim and inner canyon ground searches as well as the use of search dogs and a helicopter.

Mr. Watson's death was ruled "death by falling." An investigation into the incident was conducted by the National Park Service with the assistance of the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

 -NPS-

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