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High water ends 2nd day of search for missing woman

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SANDY -- After a second straight day of searching, rescue crews still haven't found the body of a 26-year-old Holladay woman who went missing after falling off a Bells Canyon waterfall Saturday.

Crews resumed the search for Kimberly Evans early Sunday but were forced to call it off around 1 p.m. when the water in the creek became dangerously high.

The fear is losing someone else trying to help out, or getting them injured.

–Lt. Victor Quezada

Police say it's highly unlikely Evans is still alive. In fact, when searchers first headed up the canyon Saturday, they figured it probable Evans didn't make it.

"There's always hope; however, we have to be realistic at the same time," said Lt. Victor Quezada with the Sandy City Police Department.

Dozens of searchers combed the area near the falls and the banks of the creek, but found no sign of her.

"We suspended the search about 1:00 this afternoon due to the water being at high levels and very dangerous for the rescuers to be searching right now," said Quezada. "The water is so forceful, the current down there is keeping giant logs that are huge underneath the current."

Kimberly Evans
Kimberly Evans

Police believe Evans' body is being pinned underwater by the raging current in an area where they saw logs fall in and disappear. But they say it's just too dangerous for rescuers to be in the water at this point.

"The fear is losing someone else trying to help out, or getting them injured," said Quezada.

The wait was agonizing for Evans' friends and relatives. There were many hugs, tears, sobs and embraces near the command post where they gathered.

Authorities finally had to share the tough news. "It's probably one of the worst things a police officer can do, to deliver news to a family," said Quezada.

Evans, a preschool teacher, was on a first date with 24-year-old Joseph Clark of Sandy Saturday morning. The pair was hiking above the second waterfall, trying to jump across the creek for a better view.

According to police, the mossy backs were slick and dangerous. Clark made it across, but Evans slipped and fell. He tried to catch her but the creek swept both of them away.

Clark was lifted out of the canyon by a medical helicopter and flown to Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition. He suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon.

Rescue crews will go back up the canyon Monday morning to assess the water conditions. The creek reaches its peak in the afternoons, so they're hoping it will be lower in the morning.

They hope to resume the search for Evans' body then, but acknowledge the body may not be found for weeks until the snow is gone and the water level drops dramatically.



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John Hollenhorst


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