Police & Fire

Utah’s DPS helicopter crew finds body believed to be missing hiker

AMERICAN FORK CANYON, Utah. — On March 15, shortly after 6:30 PM, Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers responded to a report of a man who was last seen on Sunday, March 14 around noon. Family believed the man, Robert “Bobby” Healey, age 28, of Saratoga Springs, had gone hiking and when family couldn’t contact him by Monday morning, they began looking for areas where he might have parked his car. Monday evening, they found his car in a parking lot near the mouth of American Fork Canyon.

SAR volunteers on the ground, with helicopters from LifeFlight and the Utah Department of Public Safety searched the mountains on both sides of the mouth of American Fork Canyon until after 11:00 PM. During the search, “ping” locations were used with a broad area to get an idea where Healey might be. A ping location is when the tower and ph

Search and Rescue area
Missing hiker search area

one make a brief connection registering a digital exchange between the two.

In many wilderness searches, there may be only one tower involved due to the remoteness of the location that the search area is taking place. A brief ping can provide information as to when the phone was last in the area. Those locations were consistent with the location of his car near American Fork Canyon.

The search for Bobby resumed Tuesday morning with a Utah County Sheriff’s Office airplane and the DPS helicopter crew. The airplane pilot located some footprints in the snow within the search area above the parking lot where Healey’s car was found. A short time later the DPS helicopter crew located a body near the footprints seen by the airplane pilot. The body was at an elevation of about 7,200 feet on a steep slope below a rocky cliff.

The DPS crew was able to place two crew members a short distance from the body. They then hiked to the body, secured it, and used a hoist to remove it from the mountain. The victim sustained injuries consistent with that of a serious fall from somewhere high atop the cliffs. The official identification of the body will be made by the Utah Medical Examiner on Wednesday.

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