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Utah County Sheriff's Office

Body of missing hunter found in Payson Canyon

By Jen Riess, KSL.com | Updated - Oct. 12, 2020 at 6:08 p.m. | Posted - Oct. 11, 2020 at 11:00 p.m.


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PAYSON — Detectives from the Utah County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of a missing hiker in Payson Canyon near the Grotto on Sunday evening.

After finding personal items belonging to 48-year-old Craig Edwin Nielsen, who went missing on Sept. 30, investigators identified the remains as his.

According to authorities, it's likely Nielsen left to go hunting and might have experienced a medical emergency in the woods.

Because of the dense vegetation and terrain in the area, searchers were unable to find his body — even though they were within yards of where he was found, Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said on Monday.

Drone technology from Western States Aerial Search helped locate the remains by analyzing thousands of photos, Cannon added.

“This particular drone technology directly led to the discovery and return of Nielsen’s body to his family,” he said.

Search and rescue crews used technical rigging to bring the body off the mountain, the Utah County Sheriff's Office.

Foul play was not suspected in Nielsen's death.

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Jen Riess

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