A 29-year-old Arizona woman was found dead in Zion National Park on Monday evening, three days after she was swept away in a flash flood, officials announced Tuesday.
The woman, Jetal Agnihotri, of Tucson, was first reported missing Friday evening after she did not return from a hiking trip in the Narrows, triggering an exhaustive search that stretched beyond the park’s boundary, according to a news release from the park.
That afternoon, multiple hikers had been swept off their feet by a flash flood near the Narrows after Zion received between a half-inch and 1½ inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
One injured hiker was taken to a hospital by ambulance; other hikers who managed to reach high ground were left stranded until water levels receded and rangers could help them down to safety.
More than 170 first responders including swift-water rescuers and search dogs scoured the Virgin River for Agnihotri through Monday while park rangers monitored the river overnight. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the effort.
Agnihotri’s remains were ultimately found 6 river miles south of the Narrows, near the park’s Court of the Patriarchs area, officials said.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and family of Jetal Agnihotri,” Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion National Park superintendent, said in a statement.
The Narrows and Riverside Walk trail in the park were closed amid the search, but have since reopened, a park official confirmed.
Permits to camp or hike along the Narrows from the top of the river downward also were canceled due to the search, but are now being honored or granted again, the official said.
This week, there is a chance of thunderstorms and showers in the Zion area on Wednesday and Thursday, which can increase flash flooding risk, according to the weather service.