Missing hiker found dead near Horsetail Falls

In a separate incident, a 10-year-old boy was in critical condition after falling into the Provo River near Bridal Veil Falls.

Alpine, Utah • The missing hiker whose cellphone was found on the Horsetail Falls Trail has been found dead, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office confirmed late Saturday morning.

After receiving a phone call from some hikers who had found a phone Friday afternoon at Horsetail Falls containing footage of her in the river, search-and-rescue crews and a helicopter were deployed to search for the missing woman.

They located her body late Friday night, but the team waited until the morning due to how dangerous the mission could be with the high and fast-moving waters. According to Sgt. Garrett Dutson from the Utah County Sherriff, search-and-rescue crews retrieved the body of 19-year-old female hiker just after 11 a.m.

Officials believe that it was a tragic accident, and don’t suspect foul play.

Dutson warned the dangers of going into waters around this time of year, especially with the snowmelt. “It seems like this time of year we do get calls of someone that’s fallen in the water due to, I think, being too close to it or they’re trying to get across a waterway. They, again, just don’t realize how fast that water moves. And the temperatures, too. The waters up here are between 30 to 40 degrees,” Dutson said.

The family of the 19-year-old has been notified and Dutson reached out his thoughts and prayers to them.

A similar incident occurred on Saturday afternoon when a 10-year-old boy fell into the waters of Provo River by Bridal Veil Falls. After receiving the emergency call around 1:45 p.m., officials stood guard in multiple points of the river, in efforts to rescue him.

An Orem firefighter who saw the boy around a block south of 800 North in Orem jumped into the river and got ahold of a him. A rescue team member threw in a rope to pull them both out of the waters, but when he did, he sustained pretty severe burns on his hands. The team had to use a tree as leverage to finally rescue the boy from the water.

The boy is now in Utah Valley Hospital being treated, but Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that he’s in critical condition after being in the water for at least 45 minutes.

The Bureau of Reclamation issued a warning Friday evening of high water flows coming out of the Deer Creek Dam. The change had ramped up river flows in Provo River up to 2,000 cubic feet per second, creating dangerous conditions.

“These kinds of conditions are not going to go away here for at least the next few days or a couple of weeks. And so people have to exercise extreme caution when they’re in the area, out recreating near bodies of water, because a small stream can turn into a raging torrent,” said Cannon.

Cannon warned to always stay on flat ground and away from the banks, or anything that slopes downward to the river.