80-year-old hiker found dead in Big Cottonwood Canyon after 200-foot fall

Searchers ready their equipment to look for a missing 80-year-old hiker in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Monday morning. The hiker was later found dead after an apparent fall.

Searchers ready their equipment to look for a missing 80-year-old hiker in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Monday morning. The hiker was later found dead after an apparent fall. (Dan Rascon, KSL-TV)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A missing 80-year-old hiker was found dead in Big Cottonwood Canyon Monday morning after apparently falling more than 200-feet off the Sundial Trial.

On Tuesday, the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Mohammad Abdullah and called him an "experienced hiker."

Salt Lake County sheriff's spokeswoman Brittany Karzen, said Abdullah was found dead after apparently falling approximately 200-feet off of Sundial Peak, just south of Lake Blanche.

Abdullah set off for a hike on Sunday about 6 a.m. His wife contacted police about 10 p.m. Sunday to report that he was overdue.

A Department of Public Safety helicopter assisting with the search located the body on Monday.

"They were able to find the body around 9:30 this morning and they're currently working to recover his body," Karzen said Monday. "Our understanding is, it appears that he fell a great distance."

She said the man's family described him as a "very experienced hiker" who was familiar with the trails in the area. Abdullah's body was recovered by search and rescue crews about 11:30 a.m. Monday. Sheriff Rosie Rivera called the incident "heartbreaking" and offered her condolences to Abdullah's family.

As many Utahns will likely be hiking this week, Karzen reminded hikers to wear proper shoes, carry lots of water and be careful around moving water.

"Nature's beautiful but also dangerous," she said.

Contributing: Dan Rascon, Pat Reavy

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Bridger Beal-Cvetko covers Utah politics, Salt Lake County communities and breaking news for KSL.com. He is a graduate of Utah Valley University.

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