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Holly Courtier had been missing for 12 days in Utah’s Zion National Park when she was found alive on Sunday.
Courtier, a 38-year-old mother from California was last seen Oct. 6th at the Grotto parking area inside the park after being dropped off by a shuttle bus. She never arrived back for the shuttle bus return.
In the days following her disappearance, the Zion National Park System began a massive rescue effort involving park officials, K9 units, drones, and the local police department.
Above: The National Park System posted flyers around the park and on social media detailing Courtier's description along with clothing and gear that were possibly with her. Photo Source: Zion NPS
Friends and family joined the effort, including her 19-year-old daughter Kailey Chambers. She had begun to lose hope on Sunday stating to ABC News, “Basically they said today or Monday was going to be the last day that rangers could be involved and help us.” Chambers is a full-time student with 2 jobs in San Diego who dropped everything to help look for her mother.
Above: Holly Courtier and her daughter Kailey Chambers. In an interview with People.com, Chambers stated they had been to the park together two weeks earlier to celebrate her 19th birthday. Source: Zion NPS
After receiving a tip from a park tourist Sunday, Courtier was found by park officials. Her family was overjoyed when they received the news that she had been found alive and safe.
Courtier was in hospital care and stable condition as of Monday morning. According to her sister Jillian Courtier-Oliver she had, “lost a lot of weight and had bruises all over her body”. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Courtier-Oliver stated that her sister had not eaten and “had very little water,” when they found her. The family also released the following statement:
“We would like to thank the rangers and search teams who relentlessly looked for her day and night and never gave up hope. We are also so grateful to the countless volunteers who were generous with their time, resources and support. This wouldn't have been possible without the network of people who came together.”
According to CBS Los Angelos, Courtier was an experienced solo hiker who frequented the park. She had left her cellphone in California and was traveling the country in a converted van after losing her nannying job to the due to the pandemic.
As of now, there has been no information regarding where Courtier was during the 12 days she was missing.
Updat: In a text correspondence with CNN on Monday evening, Courtier's daughter, Kailey Chambers stated that her mother had “injured her head on a tree,”. “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.” Being weak and disoriented, “She was unable to take more than a step or two without collapsing. This prevented her from being able to seek out help,” wrote Chambers. “She told me she was so dehydrated she couldn’t open her mouth.”
Chambers texted CNN that her mother was “getting her strength back and hydrating. She is still weak but recovering. … We will continue to focus on her health and will update everyone when possible.