Man falls to death off cliff while taking pictures, more human remains found during recovery effort

The human remains in the canyon were from an unknown and unrelated incident.

October 7, 2020, 5:32 AM

A 25-year-old man is dead after falling more than 250 feet off a cliff to his death as he was taking pictures at a scenic overlook, according to the National Park Service.

The incident occurred when the National Park Service Dispatch at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area received a report at approximately 9:04 a.m. on Oct. 4 indicating that a man had fallen off a cliff.

The NPS reported that witnesses saw the man, later identified as Orlando Serrano-Arzola from Phoenix, taking pictures at the Glen Canyon Overlook near Page, Arizona, before falling an estimated 100 feet and then sliding approximately 150 feet further down into the canyon.

"A Coconino County Sheriff's Office Deputy rappelled to the victim at 9:27 a.m and confirmed the victim was deceased," the NPS said in a statement. "The Coconino County Sheriff's Office, National Park Service, Page Police Department and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation provided assistance with recovery operations. The victim was transported to the Medical Examiner's Office in Flagstaff for an autopsy."

Colorado River from the Dam Overlook.
National Park Service

Officials, however, made another grisly -- but unrelated -- discovery when they were in the process of recovering Serrano-Arzola from the canyon: another set of human remains.

"Officers from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office discovered bones at the base of the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook on Sunday, October 4, that have been determined to be human remains," the NPS said in a separate statement to the one about Serrano-Arzola. "The discovery was made while recovering the body of an unrelated fatality in the same location."

It is not known who the human remains that were found while recovering Serrano-Arzola belong to, how long they had been there for or how they got there in the first place.

Authorities are now conducting investigations into both cases and the NPS have said more information will be released when it becomes available.