Woman's Body Found in Monument; Companion Rescued

Woman's Body Found in Monument; Companion Rescued

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SALT LAKE CITY (KSL News / AP) -- The body of a woman found Monday in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has been identified as that of Rachel Crowley, 26, of Quincy, Mass.

Crowley's body was found shortly after a rancher found her companion, George Metcalfe, 27, of London, who was hiking for help.

The couple became trapped in their rented Jeep by a snowstorm while visiting the monument last week. At some point in the last few days, the pair decided to hike for help.

Crowley walked for four miles, then was unable to continue, but urged Metcalfe to keep traveling for help. He had walked another 15 miles, when ranchers spotted him Monday.

"He made a valiant effort, but he couldn't make it in time to help her," Garfield County Sheriff Than Cooper said. "They probably made a decision that if they were going to get help, he needed to hustle on out of there. He wouldn't have made it a heck of a lot further."

A helicopter was used to find Crowley because the area's unpaved roads were covered in several feet of snow and impassable. Their car was trapped in a rugged area near Bryce Canyon National Park, and more than 20 miles from the closest town, officials said.

The pair were trapped in the car for several days after a swift and strong snowstorm swept the region, making road travel out of the area impossible, Cooper said. The couple had only sunflower seeds and Skittles candy to eat, and some water to drink.

"It was a sightseeing trip. They were just going for a few days," said Crowley's mother, Sharon Crowley of Pembroke, Mass.

They were expected back in Boston on Feb. 25.

The Bureau of Land Management describes most of the roads in the 1.7-million-acre Grand Staircase monument as remote and "very primitive." Cooper said officials strongly advise people to stay out of the area during the winter.

The discovery of Crowley's body ended a growing search that spanned the United States and across the Atlantic Ocean, where London police helped the effort by finding Metcalfe's credit card numbers in his apartment.

Metcalfe, who was supposed to start a new job in London Monday, arrived in Boston to visit with Crowley, a friend for several years, on Feb. 18, said Quincy police Lt. John McDonough.

The pair flew to Las Vegas together Feb. 21, telling friends they were planning to visit Zion National Park.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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