ST. GEORGE — An investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was underway in the Warner Valley area Friday, after search and rescue teams found a body near a pickup truck that reportedly crashed off a cliff the day before.
Washington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Nate Abbott said several calls into emergency dispatch reported a vehicle that appeared to have crashed in a remote area of Warner Valley east of the Southern Parkway off Warner Valley Road.
Due to the ruggedness of the terrain and the desolate location where the vehicle was located, Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called in to assist. Rescue teams made their way to the area and arrived to find a white pickup perched on the side of a hill more than 200 feet below the edge of a cliff.
When search teams reached the heavily-damaged pickup, they found it unoccupied.
At that point, rescuers continued searching for several hours in the surrounding area for any possible occupants. Shortly before midnight, the search was called off.
Friday morning, rescue teams returned to the area and found the driver’s body, a mid-30s male, approximately 200-300 yards from the vehicle.
Abbott explained that even though the driver was found in fairly close proximately to the vehicle, the ruggedness of the terrain made the area difficult to access, which is why it took a while to find him.
Washington County Sheriff’s detectives opened an investigation into the incident and contacted the medical examiner’s office.
Detectives were later notified that the incident was possibly tied to a missing person’s case reported in St. George, Abbott said, but no further details on that case have been released.
The remains will be sent to the medical examiner for autopsy to determine cause of death. The incident will continue to be investigated, since it was an unattended death, which is common in these types of situations, Abbott said, until the cause and manner of death can be determined.
The family has been notified, but police have yet to release the man’s identity.
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