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Body of Missing Hiker Found in Grand Canyon National Park

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Date: June 2, 2009
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – A body, presumptively identified as 69 year old Robert (Bob) A. Williams, was found today by park search and rescue personnel in the Hermit Basin area of Grand Canyon National Park.

On May 26, park rangers received a report that Mr. Williams was overdue from his Memorial Day weekend plans which had included hiking in Grand Canyon National Park.  On May 27, after finding Mr. Williams’ vehicle on the South Rim, park rangers began searching a broad area—from Hermit Basin to the South Kaibab area—that could easily be accessed on foot or via shuttle from the point where Mr. Williams’ vehicle was found.  On May 29, park rangers were able to narrow their search to the Hermit Basin area based on information received after issuing a public request for assistance to anyone who had hiked in the park’s backcountry during the Memorial Day weekend.

On Monday, June 1, search personnel were once again in the Hermit Basin, using a spotting scope to check difficult to access scree slopes and cliff areas.  Based on information received from the spotters, search crews today investigated an area ¼ mile south of Santa Maria springs. At approximately 10:00 a.m., searchers found Mr. Williams’ body located approximately 200 feet below the Hermit Trail.

The remains were transported by helicopter to the South Rim helibase where they were transferred to the Coconino County Medical Examiner. 


Did You Know?


The more recent Kaibab limestone caprock, on the rims of the Grand Canyon, formed 270 million years ago. In contrast, the oldest rocks within the Inner Gorge at the bottom of Grand Canyon date to 1.84 billion years ago. Geologists currently estimate the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.