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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-

Did You Know?

GRAND CANYON TRILOBITE

The Cambrian seas of the Grand Canyon were home to several kinds of trilobite, whose closest living relative is the modern horsehoe crab. They left their fossil record in the mud of the Bright Angel Shale over 500 million years ago.