• Police believe a 40-year-old man fell to his death while climbing a waterfall in Utah with his fiancée's 9-year-old child
  • His body was located on a steep, near-vertical slope near Bridal Veil Falls
  • The boy did not see the man fall despite being with him, police said

A man hiking with his fiancée's 9-year-old son plunged to his death near a natural waterfall in Utah over the weekend, police said.

Deputies were dispatched near Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report from an unnamed woman that her 40-year-old fiancé, Adrian Vanderklis, and her 9-year-old boy were missing, the Utah County Sheriff's Office (UCSO) said in a statement released Monday.

The missing Roosevelt, Utah, resident had been climbing the waterfall with the child, who was not named, prior to his disappearance. "They hadn't seen them for a couple of hours and that caused them concern," the sheriff's office stated.

According to police, the boy who accompanied Vanderklis did not see him fall despite being with him.

"At some point, he turned around and he couldn't see [Vanderklis]," authorities said, adding that the boy was left to climb down the mountain by himself.

Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers from the sheriff's office as well as a helicopter crew with Utah's Department of Public Safety responded to the area, and team members were able to locate Vanderklis at around 7:45 p.m. on "a very steep, near vertical, slope about 1/3 of a mile west of Bridal Veil Falls at an elevation of about 5,800 feet," police said.

A team of SAR volunteers made their way to Vanderklis, and they later determined that the missing man had apparently fallen and did not survive his injuries, according to the police statement. His body was not recovered until 7 in the morning the next day, as a nighttime recovery was deemed "extremely dangerous," police said.

Vanderklis' body was taken to the Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy after he was hoisted off the cliff and taken out of the mountain, according to the statement.

"While it is unclear exactly why Mr. Vanderklis fell, it is possible he stumbled, or slipped on loose material. Regardless, it appeared he was killed immediately as a result of the fall," the UCSO said in the statement.

"The Utah County Sheriff's Office extends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Vanderklis and his fiancé and her family," police added.

Adrian Vanderklis, 40, was believed to have fallen to his death while hiking near a waterfall. Utah County Sheriff's Office