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

Local News

Elder Paul Hardin and Sister Mary Hardin, missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day...

Mark Jones

Sister missionary, 65, killed in California crash

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Sunday evening a sister missionary died following a vehicle crash Saturday night in California.

10 hours ago

a black and white police car...

Mark Jones

Police investigating apparent murder-suicide in Salt Lake City home

Salt Lake City police are investigating the death of a father and his son as an apparent murder-suicide.

12 hours ago

People who live near the intersection of 2300 East and Canyon Road in Spanish Fork voiced their fru...

Kiersten Nunez

Residents express concern over Spanish Fork intersection where 2 young girls were hit

One day after two teenage girls were critically injured after being struck by a car, Spanish Fork residents voiced their concerns over the safety of the intersection.

12 hours ago

The South Salt Lake Police Department is pictured on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. The South Salt Lake Po...

Devin Oldroyd, KSL.com

South Salt Lake Police Department searching for missing, endangered 13-year-old

The South Salt Lake Police Department is looking for a missing and endangered 13-year-old girl Sunday.

16 hours ago

FILE (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Man critically injured in Salt Lake City stabbing

A man is in critical condition after he was stabbed in the Avenues neighborhood of downtown Salt Lake early Sunday.

18 hours ago

police lights...

Mary Culbertson

Six killed, 10 injured in Idaho Falls crash involving passenger van

Six people were killed and 10 others were injured in an Idaho Falls crash after a pickup truck collided with a passenger van.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

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