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Missing Cedar City man found dead in mountains

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CEDAR CITY — A missing man whose body was found Wednesday morning likely fell while hiking in mountains east of the city, police said.

The body of Shaw Trent Phillipsen, 22, was spotted by helicopter at approximately 9:30 a.m., according to Cedar City Police Sgt. Clint Pollock.

"There are some obvious signs of some trauma as would be consistent with some sort of fall," Pollock said.

Phillipsen had sent a picture on Snapchat indicating to friends he was hiking in the mountains east of Cedar City, Pollock said. His vehicle was found near a walking trail 1 mile east of Cedar City on state Route 14.

Iron County Search and Rescue crews and police K-9 units were both dispatched Tuesday near the area where Phillipsen's vehicle was found, police said. Cedar City police, Iron County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Utah Highway Patrol searched the area on foot and using ATVs.

Department of Public Safety and SUU Aviation Program helicopters were deployed Wednesday searching for Phillipsen. An Iron County Search and Rescue team was then able to reach the body.

Pollock said the area where the body was found had ledges and steep slopes.

"It's very rugged terrain," he said. "With that hiking area, you definitely want to go in prepared."

Pollock said the body will be taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Salt Lake City for an official cause of death. He added the case remains under investigation.

Contributing: Marc Giauque


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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.


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