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Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park


Robert A. Williams, a 69-year-old hiker, is thought to be missing in Grand Canyon National Park. Photo via NPS.

A search is under way in Grand Canyon National Park for a 69-year-old man who is overdue from a hike in the canyon.

Robert A. Williams, of Surprise, Arizona, was last seen outside of the park’s Backcountry Information Center on Saturday, May 23, 2009. He was reported overdue on Tuesday. On Wednesday afternoon, park rangers found Mr. Williams' car parked behind the Verkamp’s Visitor Center on the South Rim, indicating that he might still be in the park.

Missing person posters have been developed and distributed around the area and park rangers and search and rescue personnel are currently searching the Hermit, Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails, all of which can be easily reached from Grand Canyon Village either on foot or via park shuttle. In addition, investigators are asking for the assistance of anyone who hiked in the park over the Memorial Day weekend and might have seen Mr. Williams.

Mr. Williams is described as a white male, 69 years of age. He is 5’5” tall, weighs approximately 165 pounds and has grey hair and brown eyes. He was last seen carrying a dark green Gregory backpack. If you believe you have seen Mr. Williams in the last five days, please, contact the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center at 928-638-7805.


Hi, Kirk. Is it just me, or have there been an unusual number of tragedies at the parks so far? Seems like every tiime I check into this site, somebody's missing or dead. It's getting kind of spooky. Have things increased or are we justhearing about them more?

I think I got your name wrong. Sorry, Kurt. Inexcuseable for a former journalist. Still thinking there's something odd about this rash of accidents and deaths. First time we rode the horses down Zion, I called out, "Oh, God!" over and over again. Now I think I was right.

There certainly has been a rash of incidents lately, Lynn. Some, unfortunately, are to be expected at this time of year. The climbing season on Mount McKinley just got under way, and in the West high runoff is making streams and rivers particularly dangerous.

Lightning strikes always are unpredictable, though. As for the drownings, sad and unfortunate coincidences. And I don't know what other than a terrible accident you'd call the incident that claimed the man and his horse in Haleakala.

Hopefully the past week isn't a harbinger for the rest of the summer.


You have all my prayers. I never had a grandpa and always wished I did. Good luck to you and your family and my thoughts are with you.

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