Hikers discover human remains in Red Cliffs Desert Reserve

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Human remains were discovered in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve area in Washington County early Saturday morning.

“Welcome to the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve” Sign posted near a gated entrance to the reserve where human remains were discovered, the exact location is undisclosed, Washington County, Utah, Aug. 19, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Early Saturday morning Washington County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives were dispatched to the Washington Hollow Trail area on an incident involving possible human remains after individuals hiking in the area called 911 to report the discovery,  sheriff’s Lt. Dave Crouse said.

“Early that morning a couple of citizens hiking on the trail came across what they thought were human remains,” Crouse said, “and they called emergency dispatch to report it.”

Sheriff’s personnel responded to the area to investigate the report and found a body that appeared to be in an advanced state of decomposition, Crouse said, and according to the initial report it was that of a male.

Due to the terrain and location where the body was found it is possible that the death was caused by a fall, Crouse said, however these types of cases are typically considered criminal investigations until foul play can be ruled out.

The remains were removed from the area and will be sent to Utah’s Office of the Medical Examiner for identification and autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The Washington Hollow Trail is located in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve just north of Washington City, however the exact location of where the remains were discovered is undisclosed by authorities as this report publishes.

This report is based on statements from law enforcement and emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings, and may be updated as information is made available. 

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • comments August 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    When I read one of these I always wonder if they found the Smith boy. sad thing

  • Rob83 August 20, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I’m the exact way, dread comes over me.

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