ASU student dies while rappelling near Salt River

An Arizona State University student is dead after she fell while rappelling from a cliff in the Tonto National Forest.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says 21-year-old Katelyn M. Conrad was rappelling in Coon Bluff, a popular recreation area near the Salt River, on Saturday morning when the incident occurred.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Chris Hegstrom says she fell about 125 feet and was unresponsive. Despite lifesaving efforts by deputies, Conrad was pronounced dead.
Authorities say Conrad was part of a group of 20 climbers from ASU. They also say Conrad, who was from nearby Gilbert, was the daughter of Phoenix police Lt. Robert Conrad.

"From my understanding in her party there was approximately 20 people," says Sgt. Aaron Flowers with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. "There was only one or two people actually with her at the time of the fall, everybody else heard screams and came to the scene."
Investigators are looking into the cause, but they say it appears to be accidental.

Acting Police Chief Joe Yahner released a statement, saying in part:
"The entire Phoenix Police Department wishes to express their condolences to the Conrad family.  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."

Vigil for Katelyn Conrad:
Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m.
Next to ASU's stadium and "A" Mountain in Tempe

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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