Body found 465 feet below Grand Canyon rim believed to be missing Kentucky man, authorities say

The body is believed to be that of John Pennington, who vanished last week.

March 05, 2021, 6:32 AM

Authorities believe they have found the body of a Kentucky man who disappeared at the Grand Canyon last week.

John Pennington, 40, of Walton, Kentucky, was thought to have entered the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on or around Feb. 23, abandoning his vehicle at the South Rim near Yaki Point.

He was believed to be traveling alone, possibly on a yellow 2005 Suzuki motorcycle, according to the National Park Service.

PHOTO: The Grand Canyon is seen from the South Rim near Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, on Feb. 22, 2018.
The Grand Canyon is seen from the South Rim near Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, on Feb. 22, 2018.
Stephanie Keith/Reuters

After days of searching the area, National Park Service personnel spotted a body and a motorcycle on Wednesday, below the South Kaibab Trailhead, south of Yaki Point.

Park rangers recovered the body, which was located approximately 465 feet below the canyon rim, according to the National Park Service.

PHOTO: The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a missing person search at Grand Canyon National Park for John Pennington, 40, of Walton, Kentucky, who was last known to be on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon near Yaki Point.
The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a missing person search at Grand Canyon National Park for John Pennington, 40, of Walton, Kentucky, who was last known to be on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon near Yaki Point.
National Park Service via Twitter

The body was flown by helicopter to the rim and was then transferred to the Coconino County Health and Human Services Medical Examiner's Office in Flagstaff.

"Based on evidence found with the body, the individual is believed to be missing person John Pennington," the National Park Service said in a statement Thursday.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. No additional information was immediately available.

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