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Park Rangers Narrow Search Area in Grand Canyon National Park

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Date: May 29, 2009
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Robert A. Williams was last seen May 23.
DMV Photo

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park search and rescue personnel are now focusing their search for Robert A. Williams on the Hermit Basin area west of Grand Canyon Village.

The search for Mr. Williams began on Tuesday, May 26, when family members became worried that he had not returned from the holiday weekend. According to Mr. Williams family, he had planned to do some hiking at the Grand Canyon. Although no backcountry permit was found on file, on Wednesday, May 27, Mr. Williams car was found parked behind the Verkamp’s Visitor Center on the South Rim, indicating that he might still be in the park.

With no specific itinerary to work from, searchers spread themselves across the three trails easiest to reach from Mr. Williams parking spot—the Hermit, Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails. Investigators also asked, through the media, for the assistance of anyone who was hiking in the park over the holiday weekend and might have seen Mr. Williams. In response to this request, the park received information which helped them to narrow their search to one area in the park—the Hermit Basin area, located approximately eight miles west of Grand Canyon Village.

The Hermit Trail itself is a popular trail. So, searchers on the ground are currently focusing their efforts on areas of the basin that are less traveled. A dog team and spotters in a helicopter are also being used in the search effort as weather allows.

Investigators continue to hope that anyone who hiked in the park over the holiday weekend and believes they might have seen Mr. Williams will contact the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center at 928-638-7805.

Robert A. Williams is from Surprise, Arizona and is described as a white male, 69 years of age.  He is 5’5” tall, weighs approximately 165 pounds and has grey hair and brown eyes. He was last seen carrying a dark green Gregory backpack. 


To download this news release with embedded photo in .pdf format, CLICK HERE.

Did You Know?

Grand Canyon Shuttle Buses

For more than 30 years Grand Canyon National Park has provided a free shuttle bus system on the South Rim. Visitors and residents have made 75,000,000 boardings. Riding the shuttles makes your stay more enjoyable, while reducing pollution and decreasing traffic congestion. More...