2 days of air, ground searches for Englewood's Kaitlin Kenney in Grand Canyon yield no clues

Authorities scaling back search for 21 year old

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - A 21-year-old Englewood woman remains missing in Grand Canyon National Park after two extensive days of searches by air and land, park officials said Tuesday.

Kaitlin Kenney was last seen Friday night at a river camp located near Tapeats Creek on the north side of the Colorado River in the park, officials said.

She was on a rafting trip down the canyon with a group of friends, who reported her missing on Saturday.

A relative told 7NEWS the family believes Kaitlin may have gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and fallen into the river or gotten lost.

It was below zero the night she disappeared and she did not have her coat or any survival gear for that type of weather, the relative said. Family members believe she may have become disoriented in the dark.

Rangers used the park's helicopter to search the river corridor and area trails for two days after she was reported missing. Search-and-rescue teams combed accessible trails, beaches, drainages and backcountry areas in the vicinity where Kenney disappeared.

With no additional clues to guide search efforts on land, park spokeswoman Shannan Marcak said the decision was made Tuesday to scale the search back to a continuous, but more limited effort in which rangers and pilots will continue to search for clues when in the area.

Flyers with Kenney's photograph and description remain posted at popular river trip launch and takeout points, Marcak added.

Anyone who may have information regarding Kenney's whereabouts is encouraged to call the park tip line at 928-638-7767. Any additional clues collected will guide future search efforts.

Kenney is a gifted fiddler who won the young adult competition at the 2011 Colorado Fiddle Championships and place several times in the Texas State Championship.

She attended Cherry Creek High School and the University of Montana.

 

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