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On March 8, 2013 at 04:37 hours, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Search and Rescue Unit responded to the Town of Tusayan, near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, for a missing 16-year-old male who was visiting the area with his family from Hawaii.
The report was made by a guest at the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn in Tusayan who said that his son became hostile and stormed out of their hotel room. The father reported his son took an excessive amount of prescription drugs including Ambien and Zanax before leaving. The juvenile was known to have a jacket and backpack when he left the hotel room.
In addition to his possible altered state due to the prescription drugs, the incoming winter storm added to the urgency in Sheriff’s Office response to ensure the welfare of the juvenile. Three Sheriff’s Deputies from the Williams/Grand Canyon District, the Search and Rescue Coordinator and a Detective out of the Flagstaff District, and 14 Search and Rescue Volunteers responded to the call. A tracking dog and utility vehicles (UTV) were used to help searchers cover the area. The juvenile was entered into the National Crime Information Center system to advise law enforcement agencies of his missing status. Flyers with information about the boy were distributed throughout the Town of Tusayan.
The boy was sighted around 8:45 in the morning by an employee of the Holiday Inn Express in Tusayan. The employee had received information from the Sheriff’s Office regarding the search and missing boy. The employee saw someone matching his description entering and leaving the lobby of the Holiday Inn. A Deputy found the juvenile walking in a nearby parking lot.
The boy appeared to be somewhat lethargic but otherwise in good condition. He admitted to taking a handful of pills and walking into the woods apparently west of the hotel at which his family was staying. He was transported by Guardian Medical Transport to Flagstaff Medical Center where he could be further medically assessed. No charges are expected in this case.
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Media Contact: Lt Jim Coffey, 928-679-8730