GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK - A Phoenix man has died after falling from a trail at the Grand Canyon National Park, officials said on Dec. 16.
Park rangers said 23-year-old Jai'Quan Carter was day hiking when he fell nearly 80 feet from the South Kaibab Trail Tuesday morning.
His mother, Lisa Carter, says she had no idea where her son was for days. He loved the outdoors, but he rarely made trips to the Grand Canyon.
Cater was supposed to be at a family gathering on Saturday, Dec. 12, but he never showed. Phone call after phone call, Lisa became concerned.
"So I had to put in a missing person report on him on Sunday and then Monday went, and then Tuesday came and the investigators called me and let me know my son had died," Lisa said.
Carter went to McClintock High School where he loved basketball, music and nature.
His brothers are devastated.
"We were just all so close and Jai'Quan again, he's going to be so missed. I loved my son unconditionally and Jai'Quan was just so awesome," Lisa said.
Lisa says her son did suffer from serious mental illness. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia seven years ago.
She's still in a state of shock.
"But right now, I'm just kind of foggy and trying to wonder how I'm going to be able to pick up the pieces with one of my babies gone."
The National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the incident.
If you would like to donate to Jai'Quan's funeral arrangements, please visit the family's GoFundMe here.
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