Tonight, the family and friends of ASU professor Debra Schwartz are mourning her death after her body was found days after she went missing during a hike in Oak Creek Canyon.
Just after 11:00 a.m. Sunday, Search and Rescue crews found Schwartz’s body in an unnamed slot canyon below the rim of Oak Creek Canyon, according to Gerry Blair with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department.
Rescuers had been searching for her for three days.
Several slot canyons that run from the rim to the canyon floor were partially searched yesterday, however steep inclines, very rough terrain and thick underbrush made conditions unsafe for conventional ground searchers, Blair said.
The three technical rescue teams that were deployed today were assigned to thoroughly check the slot canyons in the area.
Schwartz was located roughly a half mile from her campsite, according to Blair.
Coconino County Sheriff’s detectives plan to work with personnel from the medical examiner’s office in an attempt to determine the cause and manner of her untimely death.
Shortly after Schwartz death was announced, Mark Searle, Executive Vice President and Provost with the Arizona State University provided this statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague, Debra Schwartz, who devoted her career to helping others find the joy of newfound knowledge and creative ability. Her dedication was reflected in one of her last conversations, words of encouragement to a student from this past semester and an offer to stay in touch over the summer. Our hearts go out to Debra's family, and to them we offer the comfort of knowing that she helped enable so many to learn and understand the world a little better."
Fox 10 News will continue to effort new information regarding this story. Stay with us for updates.