Missing Apache Junction man found dead in Salt River Canyon

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Jeff Block By Jennifer Thomas Jeff Block By Jennifer Thomas
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- In the two weeks that 58-year-old Jeff Block was missing, his family and friends never stopped looking. His father, Sherwin, showed us the fliers, website and search parties all aimed at finding Jeff this past Sunday.

"First thought was he had an accident somewhere, ran off the road, who knows?" Sherwin said.

It turns out his father's early instincts were right and Wednesday on the family's website his brother confirmed it.

"A search and rescue volunteer this morning very early that was assigned to that area, the Salt River Canyon, was out with binoculars, had to pull off and then go to a very specific spot to be able to look down into the canyon," said Elias Johnson with the Pinal County Sheriff's Department. 

The Salt River Canyon is 100 miles from Phoenix and deptuies believe Block was passing through on his way to Show Low. It's a thousand-foot drop from the road to the canyon floor.

"There are remnants of tragedy in that canyon," Johnson said. "Vehicles that have gone off the road. And, unfortunately, we have another one to add to it."

The volunteer spotted Block's white truck and family members said he was in the front seat.

"There are a lot of blind turns, there are some areas that don't necessarily have guardrails where if you did go over you'd be in a lot of trouble," Johnson said.

Department of Public Safety investigators will work the scene, but the details of what really happened have likely died with Block. But in finding him, deputies are glad they can at least return him to his family.

"Unfortunately, it ends in this way, but we're glad the family at least knows now and they're now ... there were a lot of people out there looking for him," Johnson said.

Block's dog, Blue, was also found dead at the scene.