EMERY COUNTY, Utah, April 26, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A 24-year-old man was killed in a hiking accident in a side canyon of Cottonwood Canyon above Orangeville in Emery County on Thursday.
The victim has been identified as Matthew J. Schnitzer, from New York, said a news release from Emery County Sheriff’s Office on Monday.
“Schnitzer had been camping in the area for about a week,” the news release said. “He and a friend were hiking on Thursday, April 22. The friend decided to return to camp taking a different route but Schnitzer continued hiking. When Schnitzer failed to return to camp, the friend started looking for him. He placed a light on the hood of his vehicle near camp in hopes that Schnitzer might see the light in case he had lost his way back.”
The friend searched until midnight, and then resumed searching at 7 a.m. After failing to locate Schnitzer, the friend notified local authorities.
Personnel from Emery County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue searched on the ground, and the Department of Public Safety helicopter searched from above. The helicopter crew located Schnitzer’s body at the bottom of an 80-foot cliff, the news release said.
“It appears that Schnitzer lost his footing on the slope above the cliff and slid off the edge,” the news release added. “The helicopter crew used a hoist to lower state personnel to the location of the body. The helicopter then transported the body from the scene and family was notified.”
Sheriff Greg Funk said, by way of the news release: “The State DPS helicopter is a great support to search and rescue/recovery efforts in Emery County. Additionally, many Emery County Search and Rescue members took time off from their jobs to respond, and once this recovery effort was completed, they traveled to Salt Lake for weekend rope rescue training. We really appreciate the many volunteer hours they continually give.”