John Walter And Gary York Identified As Hikers From Kettering, West Chester Found Dead

John Walter And Gary York Identified As Hikers From Kettering, West Chester Found Dead

Two Ohio men, including one from Kettering, were found dead after hiking in southern Utah over the weekend.

In a media release posted to social media on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office identified John Walter, 72, of Kettering and Gary York, 65, of West Chester as the two hikers who were found dead in Buckskin Gulch in Kane County, Utah. The discovery came after a multi-day search.

Located on the Utah-Arizona state line, Buckskin Gulch is situated approximately 60 miles north of Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park.

On Sunday morning, a search and investigation was initiated after a hiking group discovered a body, prompting the involvement of search and rescue teams. According to a spokesperson, an unidentified body prompted a joint investigation between officials in Arizona and Utah.

Loved ones gathered to remember the brothers-in-law who were found dead after hiking in Utah. Photos captured the emotional gathering as family and friends paid their respects.

Kane County deputies were notified Monday by West Chester Twp. police about two men, later identified as Walter and York, who family reported as missing. The families of Walter and York told police they last had contact with both of them Saturday afternoon.

Pictures provided by the family later identified the first body recovered was that of York, deputies said.

On Monday, search efforts for Walter persisted until he was eventually found in the afternoon. Deputies believe sudden flash flooding was responsible for sweeping away both men.

According to a media release from the sheriff’s office, further investigation has revealed that flash flooding occurred in the Buckskin during the time when the two men were hiking. The spokesperson stated that it is believed the men were caught off guard and swept away by the rushing water.

York was carried about 10 miles downstream by the flood waters while Walter was found about eight miles away, the spokesperson said.

In Kane County’s slot canyons, the power and danger of flash flooding have been witnessed relentlessly. According to the spokesperson, the York and Walter families have received condolences.

Experienced hikers like Amy Niekamp are cautious of the power and danger they may encounter on their journeys.

With decades of long-distance hiking experience under his belt, Niekamp is a seasoned hiker who currently runs Dayton Hikers. Currently, he is hiking the Arizona trail.

In the past week, the weather has been highly unpredictable, according to reports. It’s almost like monsoon weather here in northern Arizona and southern Utah,” he said.

He said the Buckskin Gulch is one of the longest, continuous slot canyons in the world.

“It’s almost a straight rock wall, straight up. There’s no climbing out. There’s no way to get to higher ground generally, in many of those areas in the gulches. According to him, it is a genuine tragedy.

According to Niekamp, it is advisable to conduct thorough research on the trails you intend to hike and stay informed about the weather forecast, if you plan to embark on a hiking trip.

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