Sheriff's department has doubts about missing hiker's viral story
Sheriff’s department has doubts about missing hiker’s viral story

A Utah law enforcement agency is now openly suspicious of a woman who was reported to be found alive after being reported missing for twelve days inside of Zion National Park.

Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Sgt. Darrell Cashin was part of the search effort for Holly Courtier, a 38-year-old mother from Woodland Hills.

Cashin, who provided K-9 assets and investigators, lauded the ZNP SAR teams for their work in the efforts.

“They even had GPS tracks of every trail, every part of the backcountry, and every valley they searched,” Cashin said. “They had everything about Holly they possibly could’ve gotten to give an indication of what her behavior was like and where she might have gone.”

However, the claims from Courtier’s family that she had stayed close to a “water source” -identified as the Virgin River- raised suspicions, given that toxic algae blooms would have rendered the water non-potable.

“If she had been drinking that water, unless she had some really high immune system, she would’ve been very, very ill and probably unable to come out on her own,” Cashin said, adding that such water could have killed the woman. “She either took a lot of water with her or had another clean water source that was near here, but the Virgin River is not that source.”

Needless to say, Sergeant Cashin noted that there are some “discrepancies and questions that do not add up.”

Furthermore, according to ABC4, Courtier was able to leave the park with minimal assistance.

“If we had found somebody in that condition with that kind of severe head injury, we would have at minimum called for a transport agency to check her out,” Cashin said. “The fact that that didn’t happen tells me that they did not find any significant injury to her that would’ve prompted them to do that.”

“Physically, she seemed to be in a condition that did not warrant an ambulance and they felt comfortable to release her to her family to address,” Cashin added.

From the circumstances of her disappearance to her random trip to the park, there appears to be more questions surrounding the woman’s disappearance than there are answers.

“The statements that the family is giving and the statements that the park is giving don’t add up,” Cashin said. “Those are the types of questions I think everybody has. I think the place where that question can be answered is with her.”

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