Searchers locate overdue hiker in Havasupai Canyon

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Search and rescue crews located a missing 60-year-old female hiker in Havasupai Canyon Wednesday morning.

Bureau of Indian Affairs rangers found Judy Jones at about 9 a.m. in an area known as Red Wall located in Rattlesnake Canyon. She was described as being conscious and lucid and is being evaluated by medical personnel aboard the Department of Public Safety helicopter while en route to Hill Top. Her exact medical condition at this time is unknown.

According to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Jones, who is from the Phoenix area, was hiking with two female friends when she split off and left them at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The two women continued to hike out of the canyon and arrived at Hill Top around 11:30 a.m. They reported Jones missing when she did not arrive at the location.

At about 1:30 p.m., the Flagstaff 911 Reception Center received a broken call from a woman stating she was lost in Supai Canyon and required assistance. The caller did not identify herself but said she had been hiking since 6 a.m. and was following the river bottom when she became lost. She could only identify her location as being in a canyon.

A DPS helicopter responded to the area and conducted an aerial search. Several ground search teams comprised of Coconino County Search and Rescue, Havasupai Tribal Members and Bureau of Indian Affairs police officers searched the canyon, as well as set up containment points to try and locate her.

The United States Air Force provided an HC 130 fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters equipped with night-vision equipment and searched the area south of Supai Village and Cataract Canyon.