UPDATE: Crews keep searching for missing woman in Zion National Park
ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah — The search continued Sunday for a missing woman person after flood waters swept her away in Zion National Park Friday morning.
The missing woman was identified as Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson, Arizona.
“Our search is continuing. we have more than 20 search and rescue team members in the field. Today we are joined by staff from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and from the Hurricane Valley fire district,” Jonathan Shafer, Public Affairs Specialist for Zion Natl Park said.
After hiking through The Narrows Friday, Agnihotri’s friends said they were all supposed to meet near the visitor center’s parking lot.
When she didn’t show up around their meeting time, that’s when Agnihotri friends called for help.
“We wanted to head out today,” said Mostafa, one of Agnihotri’s friends. He and one other friend were visiting Utah together along with Agnihotri.
The grad student friends were hoping to squeeze in one last adventure together before heading home.
“We wanted to do The Narrows,” Mostafa said. That was the plan, but plans changed.
Hearing the word of a flash flooding, Mostafa said they talked together about what they should do.
“I mean, she’s one of the toughest girls I have ever seen in my life. I’m really sure she can fight with that river and she can make it out.” – Friend
One of Jetal’s friends, Mostafa, caught us up to speed on what happened leading up to her search.
— Karah Brackin (@KB_ON_TV) August 20, 2022
Eventually, they decided they would hang back, but Mostafa said Agnihotri was excited to visit The Narrows and decided to go in on her own.
“She wanted to do The Narrows more than us,” Mostafa recalled.
They thought was a safe enough bet, given her knowledge of water was strong with a background as a student studying hydrology.
“Now I wish that I did ask her not to go,” Mostafa said.
The search for Agnihotri, who is both a friend and a sister, continues, coming up on 24 hours.
Her brother, Pujan Agnihotri, said he is worried about his sister.
“She cannot swim. I mean the gushing water and all the debris and whatever it was in the water, I mean, I hope she’s okay,” Pujan said.
Waiting for answers, Agnihotri’s friends and family are hanging on to hope.
“Still, I can’t imagine that something is happening to her, and I’m very hopeful that she can. She’s a good fighter,” said Mostafa. “I mean, she’s one of the toughest girls I have ever seen in my life. I’m really sure she can fight with that river and she can make it out.”
Park officials said the search is continuing through the Narrows and down the Virgin River.
If you’re coming into Zion, note that while this search and rescue is going on, the Narrows and Riverside Walk are closed.
For the latest confirmed park information on the search, you can visit Zion National Park’s website.
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