EMERY COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A 24-year-old man is dead after a hiking accident in Cottonwood Canyon.
The Emery County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) says the accident happened on Thursday, April 22 in the Canyon above Orangeville.
ECSO says the man, identified as Matthew J. Schnitzer of New York, had been camping with his friend for about a week when he decided to go hiking on Thursday.
Schnitzer’s friend later decided to return to their campsite, while Schnitzer continued hiking.
When Schnitzer didn’t return to camp, his friend started looking for him, placing a light on the hood of his car near the camp in the hopes Schnitzer would see it.
The friend searched until 7 a.m. Friday morning. When he was unable to locate Schnitzer, he notified law enforcement.
ECSO, along with their Search and Rescue Team, then began searching for Schnitzer by helicopter. His body was later found at the bottom of an 80-foot cliff, according to ECSO.
Officials say Schitzer appeared to have lost his footing on the slope above the cliff and slid over the edge.
ECSO thanked those involved in the search, saying, “The State DPS helicopter is a great support to search and rescue/recovery efforts in Emery County. Additionally, many Emery County Search and Rescue members took time off from their jobs to respond, and once this recovery effort was completed, they traveled to Salt Lake for weekend rope rescue training. We really appreciate the many volunteer hours they continually give.”
They added in a Facebook post, “ECSO extends condolences to Matthew Schnitzer’s family and friends at this difficult time.”