Investigation of Apparent Suicide at Walnut Canyon

FLAGSTAFF – On August 6 around 3:20 pm the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a suicidal subject in the Walnut Canyon area. The subject had texted a friend that he could be found in a canyon east of Flagstaff beneath the island. He was suspected to be carrying a handgun.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies, National Park Service Rangers, and Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Ranger helicopter searched for the subject. Just before dark, he was located deceased within Walnut Canyon National Monument, a short distance from the Island Trail. On August 7 the Coconino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue along with DPS Ranger performed the body recovery.

The deceased has been identified as Christopher Preston 49 year old male of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The subject had an apparent gunshot wound. The body has been released to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office for further investigation on this matter.