Man falls to his death at popular climbing area

2012-11-28T15:49:00Z Man falls to his death at popular climbing areaBy ERIC BETZ Sun staff reporter Arizona Daily Sun
November 28, 2012 3:49 pm  • 

A man fell about 80-feet to his death at a popular rock climbing spot near Sycamore Canyon on Monday. He was identified today as 32-year-old Joshua Dale Riggs of Moab, Utah.

According to information from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, the man’s girlfriend called 911 in the early afternoon to report that Riggs was seriously injured in a fall. She did not know their exact location, but responders familiar with the area were eventually able to find them.

Deputies, U.S. Forest Service officers and a technical rescue team were sent to the area along with an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter. Forest Service officers arrived on scene first and discovered that Riggs had died.

The man’s girlfriend said the couple had been camping in the area of White Horse Lake and climbing at Paradise Forks at the time.

A Search and Rescue team hiked and rappelled down to Riggs and recovered his body by pulling it up the rock face in a basket. It took more than 3 hours to complete the recovery.

The Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office has finished an autopsy, but the investigation is still ongoing. Investigators have not officially determined what caused the fall.

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