Local News

Texas Man Missing Nearly 2 Weeks Found Alive in Grand Canyon

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Tony Maples Photography


Martin Edward O’Connor of La Porte was reported missing almost two weeks ago. He was last seen at the Yavapai Lodge, which is located in Grand Canyon Village. Grand Canyon National Park Spokeswoman Lily Daniels said in phone interview with NBC News that O’Connor was recently rescued from the inner canyon on Thursday, January 2, 2020, and safely reunited with his family, bringing a happy ending to this incident. However, park staff are uncertain how he ended up in the inner canyon in the first place, and whether he had been out in the elements the entire time. With limited resources, it’s amazing that he was found alive and in good condition.

The 58-year-old Texas man was safely lifted from the area by a National Park Service helicopter, following which emergency services checked, cleared, and released him. Hikers had reported seeing O’Connor on the New Hance Trail just one day prior to his evacuation, according to a statement by the park. That trail is considered by the park to be one of the most difficult of the trails along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Texas Man Missing Nearly 2 Weeks Found Alive in Grand Canyon

Photo: Flickr/Grand Canyon National Park

O’Connor had been reported missing on December 22, 2020. He was found approximately three miles from the beginning of the New Hance Trail at roughly 4,000 feet elevation. Although the hikers who originally sighted O’Connor reported spotting him on late Wednesday afternoon, due to the sun setting, the National Park Service helicopter wasn’t sent out to rescue him until the following day. Park staff indicated that the temperatures he would have endured at night where he was located were approximated to have dropped to the 20s. “We’re really glad to be able to reunite him with his family,” Daniels told nbcnews.com . “It’s a great ending.” We can all echo that sentiment at the good news of this safe rescue.