LOCAL NEWS

Zion National Park Search For Woman Cost $60K, Report Says

Mar 12, 2021, 7:33 AM | Updated: 7:40 am
A sign hangs at the  entrance to Zion National Park on May 14, 2020 in Springdale, Utah. (Photo by ...
A sign hangs at the entrance to Zion National Park on May 14, 2020 in Springdale, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A search for a California woman who was missing for two weeks last fall at Zion National Park in Utah before being found alive cost about $60,000, park officials said Thursday.

The cost estimate was provided by park officials who also released investigative reports revealing the search was about to be scaled back the morning that Holly Suzanne Courtier of Los Angeles was found in a hammock near a trail thanks to a tip from someone who saw her there, the report said.

Heavily redacted reports don’t say what happened to Courtier or why it was so difficult to find her in a park that is relatively small compared to other sprawling national parks.

During the search, the park and the nearby town of Springdale were filled with missing person signs featuring pictures of Courtier and the clothes she was wearing in a case that generated national interest.

After park rangers found Courtier on Oct. 18, 2020, she walked about 1,000 feet (305 meters) to a nearby road and was taken to a park building where she agreed to be interviewed by rangers.

What she told them, however, is redacted in the report.

“In this case, the harm to personal privacy is greater than whatever public interest may be served by disclosure and would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy.” Zion officials said in a statement.

Her family and park officials had feared the worst. The park is known for its towering red rock cliffs and hikes that take people along narrow trails with steep drops nearby.

After Courtier was found, the family thanked park officials in a statement but said nothing else publicly. Courtier’s daughter, Kailey Chambers, told CNN in October after that her mother hurt her head early in her hike and became disoriented.

Crews began searching for Courtier after she didn’t show up for her scheduled pickup in the park by a private shuttle on Oct. 6, authorities said.

The daily searches included dozens of rangers, search dogs, drones and helicopters.

Courtier’s family was at the southern Utah park after she went missing and started their own daily organized searches on Oct. 14, the report said.

Park officials gave the family daily updates and shared drone footage, but kept their searches separate from those conducted by volunteers because they didn’t want to accept liability for the volunteers, the report said.

On the morning she was found, a Zion official leading search efforts informed the team that the operations would be scaled back to halt doing daily trail searches and respond only to tips.

“In the absence of any clues it was no longer practical to put people in areas or on trails with no foreseeable end,” said the unnamed official, according to the repot.

A short time later, a tip was received that led to Courtier’s discovery. Someone reported seeing what appeared to be a person in a hammock near a trail the night before around sunset. Search teams went to the location and found her lying the hammock, the report said.

The costs of the search included thousands of dollars spent on search supplies such as GPS devices and thermal monoculars. It also includes thousands of dollars spent on food and snacks for search teams, the report shows.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

3 vacant house fires spark in one week in SLC’s Ballpark neighborhood

Community frustrated after three fires broke out at the same row of vacant homes in Salt Lake City's Ballpark neighborhood in just the past week.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

Memorial set up for woman killed in Provo hit and run

Yellow ribbons lined a Holladay neighborhood Friday in support of a family who lost a loved one in a hit and run crash in Provo.
1 day ago
FILE...
Michael Locklear

With so many kids sick, some Utah pharmacies run out of liquid Tylenol, ibuprofen

As parents deal with sick children, some are also facing another challenge. Some common medications can be hard to find, including liquid Tylenol and ibuprofen.
1 day ago
...
Mike Anderson

Hardware WMA sleigh rides return after two-year hiatus

For the first time in two years, sleigh rides up the Blacksmith Fork Canyon are back — where families can see herds of elk and get a winter meal.
1 day ago
Shop small to support local businesses...
Tamara Vaifanua

How shopping small this holiday season makes a big impact at local stores

There’s a big push this holiday season to shop small, as in small business. The locally owned, Tutoring Toy, right off Foothill Boulevard in Salt Lake City, has a lot to offer.
1 day ago
FILE: Attorney General of Utah Sean Reyes arrives onstage to pre-record his address to the Republic...
Bridger Beal-Cvetko

Qatar paid for Utah AG Sean Reyes’ trip to see U.S. World Cup match

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Qatar, after the Middle Eastern country's government paid for his airfare, lodging and tickets to see the United States and England
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Zion National Park Search For Woman Cost $60K, Report Says