Coconino National Forest, near Camp Verde, Arizona, became a scene of tragedy on Monday when Jennifer Petri, a 44-year old, plunged off a 20-foot high precipice referred to as “The Bluffs”.
In response to the call for help, a team of search and rescue volunteers, fire department crew and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, along with a Department of Public Safety helicopter were all deployed.
Eventually, the helicopter crew was able to scour the steep, hazarduous terrain and discovered her body below the cliff’s edge, just above the water. Sadly, upon reaching Petri, the team ascertained that she had already passed away.
The Coconino National Forest, situated in Northern Arizona, comprises 1.8 million acres and shelters the protected West Clear Creek Wilderness, a 13,600-acre area known for its outdoor recreation activities.
Popular activities in the basin include trout fishing, wildlife watching, swimming and hiking, making it a popular destination for travelers; located not far from Camp Verde, West Clear Creek is just 60 miles away from Flagstaff.
Authorities remain perplexed to the cause of the incident and further investigations are being conducted to clarify the situation. It is certain, however, that this tragedy warrants attention to the dangers of exploring the wilderness, and of getting properly equipped with safety measures when engaging in outdoor recreation.