NAVAJO CANYON, Arizona – National Park Service Dispatch at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area received a report on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at approximately 5:20 p.m., of an accident in which a six-month old boy received major head trauma. It was reported the accident happened when a houseboat was trying to dock on a beach in the area of Navajo Canyon, approximately 12 miles from Antelope Point Marina. Reports are that when the boat struck the beach an adult fell on the child. The vessel had 13 people on board, including several small children.
National Park Service Rangers were patrolling in the area at the time of the incident and responded immediately. While transporting the infant by boat to Antelope Point Marina, emergency first aid was provided, including rescue breaths and chest compressions. With the assistance of the Page Fire Department, the child was transported to the Page Hospital for further evaluation.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Page Hospital to conduct an investigation into the incident. The child was flown to the Salt Lake City Children’s Hospital. During the early morning hours of September 18, the child was pronounced dead. The family resides in Bluffdale, Utah.
This incident is under investigation by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service and the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner.
Missing Person Travis Butler – 37 years old, 5’8″, 145 lbs, green eyes, brown hair. Travis failed to check out of a hotel outside of the Grand Canyon National Park on August 1, 2017. Vehicle associated with him may be a blue 2017 Nissan Maxima with Ohio license plate FUM5324. If you have any information, please contact the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-338-7888 or Silent Witness 928-774-6111.
Please note that the photo is quite old compared to his current age. Anyone with more recent photos is also encouraged to contact us.
PAGE – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Department responded to reports of injuries on Lake Powell due to a microburst in Page. High winds and heavy rains hit Page about 12:50 yesterday. Multiple injuries reported were reported that include two reports of overturned houseboats and dozens of swamped and sinking powerboats and jet skis. Most of the injuries and boat damage occurred on the Utah side of Lake Powell.
Classic Lifeguard Air Rescue was unable to respond during the high winds, but was able to launch later and transported patients off the lake. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded with two patrol boats to assist the National Park Service and Utah State Parks Rangers.
FREDONIA – On Sunday September 10th the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a burglary and theft of a generator, tent and two large water containers from a residence in the White Sage area. White Sage is a residential community of about 50 residents in Coconino County approximately 13 miles south of the Town of Fredonia.
A Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy and the Fredonia Town Marshal responded and conducted an investigation into the incident. The two officers discovered vehicle tracks on the victim’s property and indicators of removal of the property by vehicle. The officers followed the vehicle tracks to a neighboring property where they contacted a male and female. After receiving permission to search for the stolen property all the items were located and recovered. Criminal charges are pending upon the completion of the investigation.
SEDONA – On September 2, 2017 at approximately 2:01 PM Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies, Sedona Police Department, US Forest Service, and Sedona Fire District responded to Midgley Bridge for a report of a 2-1/2-year-old child that fell what was estimated 50-60 feet down a cliff along the Midgley Bridge Trail. Sedona Fire personnel rappelled down the cliff and found the child deceased. The family of the child is on vacation visiting the area from Omaha, Nebraska.
The case remains under investigation by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.
PAGE – On the afternoon of August 14, 2017, National Park Service Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Dispatch received a report of a cliff jumping accident at Anchovy Point on Lake Powell in Coconino County, Arizona. Anchovy Point is a popular area for swimming and fishing and can be accessed from shore. It is located between the Glen Canyon Dam and the Wahweap Marina.
A 25-year old male reportedly attempted a cliff jump of approximately 30 feet. Two witnesses accompanying the victim stated that after entering the water he resurfaced and attempted to swim but experienced difficulty due to the wind and wave conditions. The victim has been identified as Erick Kallestewa of Hotevilla, Arizona.
Assisting at the scene of the accident were National Park Service personnel and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. A private vessel on scene assisted, who had witnessed one of the subjects attempting to rescue the victim. All three subjects were from Hotevilla, Arizona.
Due to the water depth in excess of 170 feet, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was dispatched to the area. Search efforts resumed during daylight hours on August 15. At approximately 10:45 a.m., Kallestewa’s body was recovered by the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Dive Team and ROV specialists.
The incident is currently under investigation by the National Park Service, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.
PARKS – On August 8, 2017 at approximately 12:24 pm, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic dispute occurring between a male and female driving eastbound on I-40. Information was that the couple was travelling from Las Vegas, NV to Texas when a dispute occurred. The female reporting party had tried to exit the vehicle at a gas station in Parks, AZ. At some point during the incident the male fired a shot out of the window from a handgun.
The male subject was located with the vehicle and taken into custody. Thirty-six year old Johnnie Wilcox, III of Killeen, TX was booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility with expected charges of Disorderly Conduct with a Weapon and Felony Endangerment.
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.
FLAGSTAFF – On August 2, 2017 around 9:10 am Deputies responded to Schuff Steel in Bellemont, AZ for a report of a found hand grenade in a construction area. The grenade was located by employees while they were installing new equipment. The grenade was partially exposed above ground in an industrial area. Deputies secured the scene and evacuated the immediate area. Members of the Flagstaff Police Department Bomb Squad and Navajo Army Depot (NAD) Explosive Ordinance Division responded.
The device was a WWII era hand grenade and appeared to be intact. The grenade was secured in an explosives safe container and transported to NAD where it is scheduled to be destroyed.
FOREST LAKES, AZ – At approximately 11:40 a.m. on July 23, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs that there was a personal locator beacon activation in the bottom of Chevelon Canyon near Telephone Ridge. The Sheriff’s Office, Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Forest Lakes Fire District, U.S. Forest Service, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Central Air Rescue Unit responded to the call. The response was impacted by severe thunderstorms in the area making travel on roads and trails hazardous.
Search and Rescue personnel located an injured fisherman in the bottom of the creek at approximately 5:00 PM. It was determined that the 48 year old male subject has sustained an ankle injury rendering him unable to hike out on his own. He had activated the personal locator beacon shortly after his accident and then established a make shift shelter as storms came through the area. The personal locator beacon transmitted his location via the SARSAT system to the US Air Force Rescue Coordination Center who alerted the State of Arizona of the incident. SAR personnel used radio direction finding equipment to locate the subject.
SAR personnel and USFS personnel treated the subject on scene and then performed a litter carry to a nearby meadow in the bottom of the canyon. DPS Air Rescue responded from Phoenix after the storms had passed and landed in the meadow to pick up the subject at 6:30 PM. The subject was then flown to a waiting ambulance from Forest Lakes Fire District so that he could be transported to Payson Regional Medical Center for treatment.
This incident was another good example of the cooperative relationships between several emergency response organizations. The subject was well prepared for the situation which aided in his comfort while waiting for rescue.
Search and Rescue would like to remind those recreating in the outdoors to be aware of the weather forecast and be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. In addition it is recommended that everyone recreating in the outdoors carry at least the 10 essentials which includes water, food, extra warm clothing, navigation equipment, headlamp/flashlight, first aid kit, shelter material, fire starting kit, pocket knife/multi-tool, and signaling equipment.