ASU student dies in rappelling accident near Salt River

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. -- A 20-year-old Arizona State University student fell to her death Saturday while rappelling in the Tonto National Forest, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Katelyn Conrad, the daughter of a longtime Phoenix police lieutenant, was rappelling in the Coon Bluff area near the Salt River around 11 a.m. when she reportedly fell 120 feet.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Flowers said it appears she had an equipment failure. He was not sure if she had any previous rappelling experience.

Flowers said Conrad was with a large group of ASU students.

"There was only one or two people that were actually with her at the time of the fall," he said. "Most everybody else just heard screams and then came to the scene from the area."

Rescue crews have recovered her body.

The incident is still under investigation.

"The entire Phoenix Police Department wishes to express their condolences to the Conrad family," Police Chief Joe Yahner said in a statement Sunday. "Katelyn Conrad suddenly lost her life yesterday in a rapelling accident in the East Valley. Her father, Lt. Robert Conrad, has been with the Phoenix Police Department for nearly 27 years. At this time of grieving, the family has asked everyone to respect their privacy."