Body of missing hiker recovered from Virgin River in Zion National Park

The body of hiker Jetal Agnihotri was found Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, in the Virgin River. Images: Google Maps; Pujan Agnihotri/Twitter

ZION NATIONAL PARK, Aug. 23, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The body of missing hiker Jetal Agnihotri, of Tucson, Ariz. was recovered from the Virgin River Monday night, Zion National Park has announced.

Agnihotri, 29, was found in the Virgin River near the Court of the Patriarchs in Zion National Park, says the statement, issued Tuesday afternoon. The National Park Service ended the search and rescue operation that began on Friday, August 19.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and family of Jetal Agnihotri,” said Jeff Bradybaugh, ZNP superintendent, in the released statement.

More than 170 responders contributed to operations over the course of the four-day search and rescue operation.

Zion National Park extends thanked those who helped, including the Bureau of Land Management, Color Country Interagency Fire Center Kane County Search and Rescue, Hurricane Valley Fire District, National Park Service staff from Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area staff, Springdale Police Department, Utah Search Dogs, US Forest Service, Washington County Search and Rescue, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“These responders worked inside and outside the park,” the statement says. “The response involved work by swift water trained rescuers, search dogs, and a total of more than 1500 person-hours searching in and near the Virgin River.

“During the search, park rangers closely monitored the weather. Several seasonal-monsoon rains increased flow in the Virgin River to a peak of more than 1,100 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.”


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