Hikers find decomposing body in southern Utah slot canyon

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — Authorities in southern Utah recovered a body after two hikers came across the human remains Saturday morning in a slot canyon.

Lt. Dave Crouse with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said two hikers found the remains near the Washington Hollow Trail in a slot canyon around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Deputies arrived on scene and found a body in “advanced stages of decomposition,” Crouse said. The finding is being investigated as a criminal case, which is standard procedure anytime human remains are found unattended.

Police believe the deceased is a male. They note the deceased was wearing hiking boots, and they say it is possible the person fell into the slot canyon while hiking.

The remains have been sent to the Utah State Medical Examiner to be identified and to determine the cause and manner of death.

Police are currently comparing the scene to known missing person’s cases and are also checking the surrounding area for any unattended or abandoned vehicles.

The Washington Hollow Trail is in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and is accessed via the Millcreek trailhead. The reserve is north of St. George and Washington cities.

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.