Grand Canyon recovery crews recently found a surprise body while searching for someone else.
The teams were scouring the canyon for the remains of the Hungarian hiker Gabor Berczi-Tomscanyi when they came across another body. They believe it belongs to Brooklynite Scott Walsh, who went missing in 2015.
Walsh last appeared alive departing a shuttle bus near the South Rim in 2015. Authorities are performing DNA testing to confirm the identity of the skeletal remains, the Daily Mail reports.
Grand Canyon Proved Treacherous for Both Hikers
Recovery workers found Walsh’s skeleton as they were using a helicopter to search for Berczi-Tomscanyi’s body. The Hungarian’s friends reported him missing to Las Vegas police in late July. Authorities found his car in a Grand Canyon parking lot in mid-August. They later found his body 430 feet beneath the rim of the canyon at Yavapai Point.
Berczi-Tomscanyi likely died of a traumatic fall near the Pipe Creek overlook, park officials said. That is about three miles from where searchers found Walsh’s day pack six years ago.
Walsh’s last known address was in Ecuador. But his jacket contained a New York driver’s license with a Brooklyn address on it. His remains were found near Yavapai Point.
The circumstances of both deaths remain unclear.
There are still eight missing people in the Grand Canyon who disappeared over the last 10 years. The canyon spans 1,904 square miles, a vast distance to search.
Park Officials Say Surprise Discoveries Happen Sometimes
Meanwhile, park officials said it happens from time to time that they find bodies they weren’t looking for while searching for someone else.
“It happens every once in a while here during searches that we end up finding people we weren’t expecting,” park spokesperson Joelle Baird told the Associated Press.
Baird added that as for Walsh, he was just a bonus discovery on the hunt for Berczi-Tomscanyi. Walsh was never reported missing in 2015. But the 56-year-old’s day pack contained prescriptions with his name on them.
“The fact that he was found was just coincidental,” she said. “We weren’t necessarily looking for him, and he wasn’t a person that was really on our radar.”
Park officials have been unable to reach Walsh’s family but have talked to friends of his, Baird said.
While surprise remains are not a common find at the park, they do turn up every so often. Rangers undertaking scheduled training exercises have stumbled across human remains months or years after those individuals were reported missing. Occasionally, rafters on the Colorado River have even discovered human remains.