Zion hiker Holly Courtier was found in 'thickly vegetated' area, required 'minimal assistance' during rescue

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Officials have released new information surrounding the discovery of a California woman who was missing in Utah’s Zion National Park for nearly two weeks before she was located on Sunday.

Police were able to locate Los Angeles resident Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, with the help of a “credible tip,” which led searchers to find her “in a thickly vegetated area along the Virgin River,” said Zion National Park’s Acting Chief of Interpretation Amanda Rowland in a Monday night email to Fox News.

“She was able to leave of her own capability with minimal assistance,” Rowland added.

Holly Courtier (National Park Service)

Officials have not released any information about the tipster. 

Courtier’s daughter, Kailey Chambers, told CNN that her mother hurt her head early in her hike and became disoriented.

“She injured her head on a tree,” Chambers said. “She was very disoriented as a result and thankfully ended up near a water source — a river bed. She thought her best chance of survival was to stay next to a water source.”


Chambers said Courtier was so weak she was unable to take more than a step or two without collapsing.

“This prevented her from being able to seek out help. She told me she was so dehydrated she couldn’t open her mouth,” Chambers said.

Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

The search for Courtier began after she did not make it to a private shuttle that had been scheduled to pick her up in the park on Oct. 6, officials previously said.  

The park and nearby town of Springdale were filled with missing person signs featuring pictures of Courtier and the clothes she was wearing.


Her sister, Jillian Courtier-Oliver, told ABC's “Good Morning America" that her sister is recovering after being found with bruises all over her body and losing weight.

Courtier-Oliver said she had started losing hope her sister was alive in a park known for its towering red rock cliffs with several hikes that take people along narrow trails with steep drops nearby.

“It wasn’t until two days ago I actually said, ‘I’m starting to lose hope,’ ” she said. “They had a lot of cadaver dogs out, and I knew what they were looking for was a body, not a person. It was the first time I actually started losing hope. And I went up with so much help knowing that we needed to find her.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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