US

24-Year-Old Hiker Slipped And Plummeted 80 Feet To His Death, Police Say

(Photo credit MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Font Size:

A 24-year-old New Yorker was killed last week in Utah after he slipped and fell of an 80-foot cliff while hiking, according to authorities.

Matthew J. Schnitzer was hiking with a friend in a side canyon of Cottonwood Canyon in Emery County on Thursday when his friend decided to return to camp to take a different route, the Emery County Sheriff’s Office said. Schnitzer decided to continue on hiking. Schnitzer, however, failed to return from his hike, prompting his friend to search for him, according to police.

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK, UT - AUGUST 12: Visitors walk along the Navajo Loop Trail in front of hoodoos as viewed from Sunset Point overlooking Bryce Amphitheater on August 12, 2016 in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK, UT – AUGUST 12: Visitors walk along the Navajo Loop Trail in front of hoodoos as viewed from Sunset Point overlooking Bryce Amphitheater on August 12, 2016 in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The unidentified friend put a flashlight on the hood of his car as he searched for Schnitzer in hopes Schnitzer could follow the light should he have been lost. The friend continued to search until midnight and again at 7:00 a.m., but failed to locate Schnitzer, prompting him to contact local authorities. (RELATED: Missing Hiker Has One Man’s ‘Very Weird Hobby’ To Thank For Saving His Life)

The Emery County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue used a helicopter to search the area, locating Schnitzer’s body at the bottom of an 80-foot cliff, police said.

“It appears that Schnitzer lost his footing on the slope above the cliff and slid off the edge,” police said in a statement. “The helicopter crew used a hoist to lower State personnel to the location of the body.