Just after 7 a.m. Sunday, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office shared it was working to recover a body in the vicinity of Bridal Veil Falls. Deputies say the man “apparently fell” while making the Saturday evening climb.
According to UCSO, deputies were dispatched to a report of a man and a 9-year-old boy missing near Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.
The man, identified by authorities as 40-year-old Adrian Vanderklis of Roosevelt, was climbing with his fiance’s son. Deputies say the woman reported she could see her son crying, but not her fiance. She said she hadn’t seen him for several hours.
UCSO Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers and a helicopter crew with the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) were quickly called to the area.
Around 7:45 p.m. Saturday, team members located Vanderklis on a “very steep, near-vertical, slope about 1/3 of a mile west of Bridal Veil Falls at an elevation of about 5,800 feet.”
Deputies say a team of SAR volunteers made their way to the victim and determined Vanderklis likely fell and did not survive his injuries.
As the sun what down, it became evident it would be extremely dangerous to attempt to recover the victim’s body, so the search was called off with the decision to resume efforts Sunday morning.
“After securing him and preparing him to be hoisted off the cliff, the DPS helicopter crew returned and brought Mr. Vanderklis off the mountain. His body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy,” shared UCSO.
Deputies say while it remains unclear exactly why Vanderklis fell, they believe it is possible he “stumbled or slipped on loose material.” No matter the exact cause, deputies say it appeared he was killed immediately as a result of the fall.
“The Utah County Sheriff’s Office extends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Vanderklis and his fiance and her family.”
The 9-year-old was not injured and came down from the mountain on his own.