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Weekend no holiday for county sheriff's office

Weekend no holiday for county sheriff's office

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This Memorial Day weekend was one of the busiest Coconino County has seen, according to officials with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office recovered four bodies, deployed Search and Rescue eight times, worked numerous accidents -- three of which were ATV riders and one was a boating accident on Lake Powell -- and were sent to stamp out campfires.

Flagstaff Medical Center officials say seven patients were admitted with injuries from ATV accidents, seven from motor vehicle accidents and five from bicycle accidents. The sheriff's office also did 331 patrols of U.S. Forest Service roads and made 133 traffic stops.

"I would say this was one of our busiest Memorial Day weekends," said sheriff's office Spokesperson Gerry Blair.


The skeletal remains of a man's body were found at a small campsite in Forest Lakes off Forest Service Road 237. Hikers found a human skull in the area and Search and Rescue workers eventually found 26 other bones in the area with help from several volunteer-owned cadaver dogs.

There was no vehicle in the area and authorities did not find any identification. Sheriff's office investigators are asking for the public's help to identify the man based on items found in the area.

Investigators believe the man had a 44-inch waist and wore double-extra-large size shirts. A Bass Pro Shop hat and a tan hat with a red diver's symbol on it were also found, as well as a Harley Davidson bandana, red Peterbilt suspenders, fishing waders and a green 5-gallon water jug.

He was possibly last wearing a tan T-shirt and blue jeans.

"It was almost impossible for detectives to determine a cause of death at the scene," Blair said.

Another man's body was found in a truck in Forest Lakes after a passerby noticed a truck and camper had been there for a week.

A man choked to death in Forest Lakes on Saturday. A deputy responded to the campsite and the man was taken to a Payson hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Neither of the men's names has been released.


Blair said that Search and Rescue had to respond eight times for lost or missing hikers and body recovery efforts.

A group was rescued from the Mount Humphreys saddle on Friday because of weather conditions and another group was rescued from the Kachina Trail.

SAR aided another party on the Telephone Trail in Oak Creek Canyon.


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