Found Alive UT - Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, Zion National Park, 6 Oct 2020 #2

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by doublestop, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Auntie Cipation

    Auntie Cipation Context Matters.

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    I'm still not sure if these boot prints tell us anything significant.

    First, we don't know when the photos were taken (or by who, for that matter, media photo credit aside*).

    If they were taken after HC was found and her camp packed up, then I'd guess they are the tracks of SAR folks and/or family who may have retrieved HC's belongings. In that case, not very useful IMO.

    If they were taken by HC upon her arrival at the site, then the tracks may be hers and someone else's, or they could have already been there from previous visitors. In that case the tracks themselves are not as interesting to me as HC's choice (speculation here) to take initial photos as a part of documenting her experience, or whatever her other motivation may have been.

    * My best guess is that HC's family/friends took the photos but HC wanted them credited to herself, perhaps not realizing the stringent rules of journalism about such things, explaining why the photos initially credited HC and then were edited to credit "Courtier Family".

    ** Also please note that in the middle photo, the shadow of the photographer is visible. Looks kinda like something broad, such as an ipad or other tablet, is being used as a camera, but it could just strike me that way because I personally take photos with my ipad. It could also be an actual camera I suppose, but it's not obvious to me.
     


  2. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Another vocabulary detail the sheriff threw in in his supplementary statement.... he drops in the word "criminal". Simply, he was being presented with criminal allegations, not "concerning" allegations.

    This:
    "Based on our local authority and jurisdiction, the Sheriff’s Office had an obligation to the public to investigate the criminal allegations which were being presented."

    At this, if I were the Courtiers I'd be very worried about what my pocket book (not to mention my person) might be liable for. I think maybe I'd lawyer up.
     
  3. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I agree about the boot prints. We can't know who they belonged to. Could be a looky loo, SAR, someone taking a pit stop.

    Throughout, the Courtiers have wanted the public to believe some things are important that totally aren't. I would count bootprints and hash marks among them. Head bump likewise.

    Something is really bothering me about these photos. What was HC's family doing at that campsite AT ALL.
    And if for some reason they were there, what "loved one" takes photos of where a hammock was hung in the moments when their dearest is getting rescued? Why are they taking photos when they should be showing concern?

    AFAIK the family didn't walk out with HC. SAR did. How did family even know this was the spot?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  4. iamnotagolem

    iamnotagolem Well-Known Member

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    A tip was called into the search and rescue teams who were quickly deployed on Sunday to an area near the popular Emerald Pools hiking area, where she was allegedly found within a half-mile of the trailhead in a thickly vegetated area.

    Holly Courtier's rescue in Zion National Park led to rumors, theories


    I think the tip that led to her discovery was made that morning.
     
  5. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    IMO, the criminal allegations were related to the *** potentially being used to generate money in a fraudulent manner. That's what I believe was being addressed here. NPS would not investigate that, it's not within their authority to do so but is for the Sheriff's office.

    I do however think that HC/family should not completely rest easy right now. My gut however tells me there probably won't be any charges or fines. NPS might be happy to just see HC and crew on their way, out of Zion and Utah. IMO

    Supplemental Press Release ZNP Missing Person Case | WCSO
     
  6. Auntie Cipation

    Auntie Cipation Context Matters.

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    I was only speculating about family being there. Didn't one sister say in a MSM article that she was in the park and upset that NPS staff was taking down the flyers, only to be told they were being removed because HC had been found? Presumably she would have rushed to the rescue site, if she was able to.

    Considering that I'm wary the whole thing wasn't done for publicity, I personally think the photos were taken prior to the events -- either weeks prior, when HC was there with her daughter, or upon her arrival and before she set up camp. All my speculation, MOO.
     
  7. iamnotagolem

    iamnotagolem Well-Known Member

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    I worry that no criminal charges will be made against Holly or the family. But I think that sets a dangerous precedent. The family has stayed repeatedly now that she was planning to stay in Zion a few days, so her intention was to camp without a permit. Not doing anything about that means other people will do the same and even more so because this was a huge public case, there is clear intent that she planned to do something illegal.

    The number of SAR rescues will increase if there are more people who are not prepared try to attempt the same thing.
     
  8. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I agree with you. I'm sincerely happy HC was found but this was not okay (as I see it). I have a HUGE amount of respect for SAR, their skill level and more importantly their safety when going out on calls. I respect park rules, the reasons behind them and consider these protected areas a privilege to visit. I practice LNT, research the plant life even of the areas I'm visiting as not to step on anything endangered & respect the wildlife. I have strong opinions but know people can get themselves into a pickle, the unexpected can happen to even the most experienced. I have had many lessons learned and am thankful for my safety. What's unfolding in HC case is just wrong, IMO.

    Last week, I took my friends SAR K9 to one of his cold laser therapy appointments to help her out with a scheduling conflict. He was injured during a hiker rescue and has been sidelined. He will recover and be back at it. He broke our hearts when he saw her take his vest out of the trunk to move stuff around, he got REALLY excited and thought he was going to work. IMO
     
  9. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Yes, they got her before she could play hide-and-seek. The significant words I read in that statement are "quickly deployed." They had tips previously and they acted on tips previously, per 13th statement.
     
  10. mrstfs

    mrstfs Well-Known Member

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    DBM
     
    Flicka1 likes this.
  11. j_in_c

    j_in_c Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a very fine line between "making an example" here and discouraging people from calling for assistance when it is truly needed - whether they are fully responsible for their own predicament or even are participating in an illegal activity. I would hate for kids to not be honest with searchers or worse, NOT contact authorities, if they were taking illegal substances out in the desert and lost a friend in the wilderness.

    I train with my local SAR (not a VI and not as experienced as others on here so take all this as MOO), but we do train and discuss what to do with an evasive subject - there are a WIDE variety of circumstances that can cause a subject to be evasive, a despondent person may avoid or not respond to searchers, an autistic child may be evasive/frightened of strangers, dementia patients can be unintentionally evasive!

    In this circumstance, I understand the sense of concern and the distaste for her actions because she seems like a rational, capable person who purposefully dragged out search efforts for ?? fame? money? free camping? But I think it is misguided to attempt to recoup any search costs and/or pursue charges (unless they can prove something beyond illegal camping which is almost always only a fine and truthfully many people do this intentionally and unintentionally). While there have been a few cases on here of rescues with questionable circumstances (and those do tend to become high profile) - I think it is much more dangerous to deter people from seeking help by forcing people to prove the rescue was warranted/necessary. All MOO - certainly an interesting case and similar to other one in California (Sheryl Powell) where I would love to know more, I think this should fade into the background as that case did.
     
  12. crhedBngr

    crhedBngr Attempting to Keep Calm and Carry On.

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    Thank you, your posts are always informative!!

    JMVHO.
     
  13. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    <modsnip: Quoted post was removed>

    To be fair, HC to the best of my knowledge has never given a public statement. All statements are coming from her family. I have said many times that I don't believe people should be back billed for their rescue, I'm not a fan of it and gave reasons why. Any park citations/fines, I'm fine with -example: not having a required permit, no bear canister when required in certain areas, snowshoes at required elevations, fires when not permitted, etc. (I'm use to the Adirondacks)

    I can't speak to mental illness and it's not part of the conversation that *I'm* here for. That's me being honest. Although many members have made good points on the subject. <modsnip>

    What I'm upset with - is the story being presented, by family, that this was a "miracle" because HC survived 12 days without water. That is complete BS and dangerous information. IMO
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2020
  14. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

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    Thanks for expanding beyond the link which provides:

    What Is Stealth Camping?
    Stealth camping is sleeping in your vehicle without drawing attention to yourself. This is similar to boondocking which generally refers to sleeping overnight on BLM or free public lands.
     
  15. missingm

    missingm Well-Known Member

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    <modsnip: Quoted post was removed>

    I respect the possibility of mental health issues being involved. If someone is having a mental episode that may cause them to hide from searchers, that doesn't make the search any less urgent or necessary. It seems like her family is trying to conceal it and making a narrative to cover for Holly.

    Like the Amanda Eller story questions will not just go away. In that story people couldn't understand how she got from A to B without crossing at least one road. A year later she finally admitted to coming across a road and water reservoir on day 1. I guess she just decided to go back into the forest.

    In this story there is no way that HC survives without a water source, and it boggles the mind that she was so close to a main trail the entire time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2020
  16. MsMarple

    MsMarple Well-Known Member

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    I totally missed an earlier (October 20) report from the sheriff's office. The first part is bolded by me :
    October 20, 2020Dave Crouse
    The Sheriff’s Office would like to apologize for our delayed response regarding our involvement in the Courtier missing persons investigation conducted by Zion National Park. Over a 24 hour period we attempted to post the information to our social media page on Facebook, but were denied access citing a “violation of community standards.” After a day of attempted appeals, it was decided to post the release here for availability to both the press and public.

    RE: Zion National Park Missing Person

    We have received many requests for comment regarding our involvement in the Courtier Missing Persons investigation. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Zion National Park officials in consultation regarding the Courtier Missing Persons investigation and subsequent Search and Rescue Operation. In an effort to ensure all investigative efforts had been covered and possibly provide additional insight, a case review was requested by Zion National Park Rangers.

    On October 15th and 16th a Sheriff’s Office investigator and Search and Rescue representative reviewed the investigation. It was our finding that the investigative methods were consistent with Sheriff’s Office investigative practices and no further action was recommended. Based on these findings we remained available for assistance should the National Park Service make the request. This was the extent of our involvement regarding the case and all further media inquiries should be directed Zion National Park.
    Zion National Park- Missing Person Press Release | WCSO

    FB barred the sheriff's office from posting? I wonder who reported it...

    FWIW, I agree that little, if any further action will come about from the sheriff or NPS regarding charges or demands for reimbursement. Most likely any punishment will come in the form of HC becoming "that woman hiker..." She's supposedly in a mental health facility so there's not much point.

    I personally agree that HC shouldn't be punished, mainly because IMO setting a precedent dissuading a stealth camper from seeking help if needed is dangerous policy. Being shamed on social media may actually be harsher punishment for one who relies heavily on it IMO. MOO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  17. carolann0308

    carolann0308 Well-Known Member

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    <modsnip: Quoted post was removed> I have seen no actual proof that this was anything other than a really bad decision and a very lucky family. People everywhere are stressed out, depressed and very anxious these days. Most of us are doing all kinds of new things to stay sane during the pandemic like day hiking and baking our own bread (that's when my family knew I'd crossed the line). Google 'Mount Monadnock' we help unprepared hikers down every single week wearing sneakers, without jackets and usually no water. Here's a woman that lost her income, fasts for several days and then thinks it a good idea to go camp in a national park with a limited supplies a Bible, hammock and a sharpie. Sounds crazy? Yes but malicious? No.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2020
  18. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    It sounds like there's still some confusion about boondocking. To clarify, here is a blog post from Camping World. Camping World is shopping/services central for RV-ers. 3 Types of Boondocking Every RVer Should Know About
    You can boondock anywhere, including your driveway, Walmart, National Park developed campgrounds (they rarely have hookups), or off grid.
    To get back to our case, HC was stealth camping in Zion. She was not boondocking in Zion: she didn't park a rig that could hook up and sleep in that she was temporarily not hooking up. Boondocking doesn't apply to this case.
     
  19. SFDukie

    SFDukie Well-Known Member

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    I *think* that this CCTV pic is from when she purchased items for the trip. Looks like an REI or the like. Realize they have been attributed to her entry into the park, but the items over her R shoulder, orange rope delineating a lane, plexiglass shield, etc, look like retail to me, and I see what look like straps for a basket or the like in her R hand. This doesn't look like an NPS visitor entry point to me.
     
  20. SFDukie

    SFDukie Well-Known Member

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    There are many, many variables concerning the concentration of bacterial toxins in Virgin River water. NPS understandably needs to highlight risks and protect the public.

    No blanket statement fits re toxicity other than one shouldn't drink from that source.
     

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