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February 25, 2021

Teen missing in Southern Utah found, reunited with family

ST. GEORGE — Washington County sheriff’s deputies announced Saturday they have found a 15-year-old who went missing Friday while hiking the Red Mountain Trail.

Officials said Britton Kelsey was found at 4:30 p.m. and has been reunited with his parents. His condition is currently being evaluated, according to Heber Police Lt. Jason Bradley.

Kelsey was missing since before 3 p.m. Friday, officials said.

According to Lt. David Crouse, initial reports indicated Kelsey became separated from his party “while hiking the overlook trail.”

“The group was originally split into two hiking groups,” Crouse said in an email. “It was reported that Kelsey had fallen behind the first group and was believed to have met up with the second group.”

But the party could not locate Kelsey themselves and contacted authorities.

Search and rescue volunteers responded to the area. As daylight began to fade, additional resources were requested because of the freezing temperatures forecast overnight. Helicopters from Intermountain Healthcare and the Utah Department of Public Safety assisted in the search, Crouse said, and night vision equipment was utilized.

The search was suspended shortly after midnight and resumed Saturday at 7 a.m.

“Volunteers and friends of the family have also begun an independent search of the area,” Crouse wrote. “The Sheriff’s Office is asking that any volunteers assisting the family wear bright-colored clothing in an effort to be clearly identified and not complicate the aerial search efforts.”


Graham Dudley

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