Body of Hiker Who Went Missing on Iconic Trail Is Found

Jetal Agnihotri was hiking the famous 'Narrows' in Utah's Zion National Park
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2022 8:31 AM CDT
Updated Aug 24, 2022 8:56 AM CDT
Hiker Missing After Flash Flood in Zion National Park
A file photo of hikers wading through the Virgin River along the "Narrows" in Zion National Park, Utah.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Update: The body of a 29-year-old woman who didn't return from a hike in Utah's Zion National Park has been found. Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson, Arizona, was hiking in the Narrows on Friday when flash floods swept through the area. CNN reports her body was recovered Monday in the Virgin River about 6 river miles south of the Narrows. A cause of death has yet to be determined. A quote from the park service shed light on just how much conditions had changed: "Seasonal-monsoon rains increased flow in the Virgin River to a peak of more than 1100 cubic feet per second. The river was flowing at about 50 cubic feet per second when the Zion Search and Rescue Team ended their search." Our original story from Saturday follows:

Rescuers will be searching again Sunday for an Arizona woman believed to have been swept away by a flash flood in Utah's Zion National Park. Authorities have identified her as 29-year-old Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson, Arizona. She's been missing since Friday, when she was hiking a famous trail in the park—the Narrows, "an imposing gorge carved by the Virgin River that has rock walls a thousand feet tall," per USA Today. Friends say she decided to continue exploring the Narrows on her own when they stopped as water conditions grew dangerous, reports KSL.

The friends added two details to KSL: They described Agnihotri as a hydrology major in college (the name wasn't specified) who is therefore knowledgeable about water—but who does not know how to swim. Park rangers say several hikers became trapped by the rising water along the Narrows on Friday, and one person was taken to the hospital after being swept downstream several hundred yards in the river, per CNN. Agnihotri is the only person missing. One last wrenching note: KJZZ has video of a woman being swept downstream, and Agnihotri's brother says he believes it is his sister. (Read more Zion National Park stories.)

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