Rock climber falls to his death near Williams

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 30 at 2:43 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A 32-year-old Utah man fell to his death while rock climbing in the Williams, Ariz., area on Monday.

Rescuers responded to a location near Paradise Forks and Sycamore Falls after a woman reported that her boyfriend was seriously injured following a fall from a "significant height," according to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies and United States Forest Service law enforcement officers were immediately sent to the area. When the responders reached the couple, they discovered that Joshua Dale Riggs was dead.

Riggs' girlfriend said the couple had been camping in the general area of White Horse Lake and had gone rock climbing.

Investigators said Riggs fell approximately 80 feet.

A Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Technical Team rappelled to the victim's location and a basket was lowered down the rock face. Once Riggs' body was secured, they raised him up the rock face. Officials said the recovery process took approximately three and a half hours.

An autopsy was performed on Tuesday.

Detectives and the Medical Examiner's Office are continuing the investigation.
 

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