LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Southland woman who vanished while hiking in Utah was safe at home Thursday after spending 12 days alone in Zion National Park, but investigators said they were finding inconsistencies in the stories they’ve gotten from her family and the park.

Holly Courtier was found safe on Sunday after missing for 12 days in Zion National Park, though malnourished and down 15 pounds, according to her sister. (Family photo)

“Every day she’s doing better and better,” Jaime Courtier-Strong, the woman’s sister said. “She was lost and she needed to be found. She would have died.”

Holly Courtier was found safe on Sunday, though malnourished and down 15 pounds, according to Courtier-Strong.

But a sergeant who was involved in assisting with the search has called into question some of the family’s story.

“The statements that the family is giving and the statements the park is giving don’t add up,” Sgt. Darrell Cashin, with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, said to the ABC station in Salt Lake City.

Authorities said Courtier was found half a mile from where a shuttle had dropped her off on Oct. 6.

“She’s in the main part of the canyon, which always has thousands of people walking up and down those trails,” Cashin said to local reporters. “I’m sure people walked by yelling for her.”

Courtier-Strong said a mother and son did eventually spot her sister’s hammock and called in a tip, but she said Courtier initially went into her trip looking for solitude and had fasted several days before.

During the hike, Courtier-Strong said her sister became disoriented and hit her head on a tree. Unable to get help, the family said she kept track of the passing days on a nearby branch.

“Initially she wanted to be off the grid,” Courtier-Strong said. “She did not want to be off the grid for 12 days.”

Immediately after she was found, it was reported that Courtier may have drank water from a nearby river to stay hydrated, but family members say that was not the case.

“She was very well aware of the toxins in the water,” Courtier-Strong said. “What’s really unfortunate about it is that this has caused people to judge her and our family’s character and that’s just really sad out of an event like this when we’re just happy to have her alive.”

The family’s GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $12,000, has also been put into question. The family said the money would go to search and rescue efforts as well as medical and therapy costs.

Comments (6)
  1. Jordan Schweizer says:

    This does not add. Where she was is super busy and does not qualify as being lost or needing search and rescue. Only shades of truth are evident here, seems mostly to raise more questions. The GoFundMe is dubious at best.

    1. Greg Pierce says:

      An avid hiker that wanted to get away yet only went a half mile from the shuttle drop-off? Just give the GFM money back, pay the fine for vandalizing the tree, and leave the country.

      Sadly, their story is just getting worse and worse:: https://www.abc4.com/news/top-stories/holly-courtier-planned-to-go-on-spiritual-journey-fast-inside-zion-national-park-family-says/

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