The body of a young Colorado woman who disappeared during a private rafting trip in the Grand Canyon in January has been recovered.
According to the Examiner, Grand Canyon National Park officials recovered the body of Kaitlin Anne Kenney, 21, in the Colorado River on March 21. Kenney, who was an award-winning fiddler, was last seen by friends on Jan. 11 at a camp ground at river mile 134.5 on the northern side of the river. She was reported missing that Saturday, and search efforts to locate her body continued for more than two months without any clues.
Prior to the discovery of her body, Kenney’s relatives said that they believe she had vanished in the night while trying to use the bathroom and likely lost her way or fallen in the river. The West Palm Beach, Fla., station WPTV reported that the temperature had dropped to below zero the night of Kenney’s disappearance and that she had not brought a coat or survival gear when she left her tent.
Kenney’s body was flown by helicopter to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Officer, where it was identified. The Englewood, Colo., resident and graduate of the University of Montana won the young adult award at the 2011 Colorado Fiddle Championships and also placed in the Texas State Championship.
Her violin teacher, Denice Carter, described her as an adventurous spirit. "She loved everyone," Carter said. "She never had anything bad to say about anyone, ever. She has a huge network of friends in different circles."
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"I just cherish that girl," she added. "I've seen her do a lot of things like that, you know ... hiking and different adventures. She's very adventurous."
Kenney’s mother, Linnea Kenney, acknowledged shortly after the disappearance that her daughter had likely died. In a Facebook post she wrote, “She was our balloon let loose in a room and lived life to it's fullest, always with a smile. We were blessed to have her in our lives.”
The Park Service has not yet identified a cause of death and said its investigation is ongoing.