Sheriff’s office closes investigation on questions of fraud surrounding missing hiker in Zion

In this 2020 file photo, the National Park Service is asking for help to locate Holly Suzanne Courtier who went missing in Zion National Park, Utah, Oct. 6, 2020 | Flier Courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Authorities have found no evidence to support allegations of fraud in connection the rescue of a hiker who went missing in Zion National Park for nearly two weeks in 2020.

A flyer distributed for missing woman Holly Suzanne Courtier in Zion National Park, Utah, on Oct. 17, 2020. | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

On Oct. 18, Holly Suzanne Courtier, a 38-year-old from Los Angeles who was last seen 12 days before near the Grotto shuttle stop in the park, was found alive by law enforcement officers and rescuers after she went missing during a hike.

Shortly after, park rangers and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. The story went national, at which point Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Sgt. Darrell Cashin expressed concerns that certain aspects of Courtier’s story were not adding up.

Additional questions arose regarding a GoFundMe account set up by Courtier’s daughter three days before Holly Courtier was found. The fund had garnered nearly $12,000 in donations to assist the family, and there was speculation that the account was fraudulent.

On Friday, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Graham Hancock told St. George News that the investigation by authorities continued for several months and that investigators were unable to find any evidence of fraud or any other criminal activity associated with the disappearance and subsequent rescue. Hancock said that at this point, the criminal investigation is closed.

Zion National Park authorities were also looking into the details surrounding the incident. On Oct. 21, spokesperson Amanda Rowland told St. George News they were working on the final investigative report that would be made available to the public once complete.

St. George News attempted to reach the park for further comment Friday, but as of publication of this article there has been no response to the request.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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