Who is Holly Courtier? Missing Zion National Park hiker found alive after 12 days, Internet calls it a 'miracle'
Californian woman Holly Courtier, who disappeared while hiking at Zion National Park in Utah earlier this month, has been found. On Sunday, October 18, officials released a statement confirming that search and rescue crew found Courtier, after receiving a "credible tip from a park visitor that they had seen Courtier within the park."
Courtier was first reported missing on October 6, 2020. She was last seen at 1:30 pm ET when she was dropped off by a shuttle bus at the Grotto parking area. She never made it onto the return shuttle later that day. A Zion official told The Salt Lake Tribune that Courtier was able to leave the park with her family, but offered no other details on her condition or where she was found.
“We are overjoyed that she was found safely today,” Courtier’s family said in a statement released by the park. “We would like to thank the rangers and search teams who relentlessly looked for her day and night and never gave up hope. We are also so grateful to the countless volunteers who were generous with their time, resources and support. This wouldn’t have been possible without the network of people who came together.”
The statement further read, "Zion National Park would like to thank Washington County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 Units from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah Search Dogs Search and Rescue Teams, Grand Canyon National Park Emergency Service Team, Bryce Canyon National Park and Lake Mead National Recreation Area Park Rangers, and all the staff and volunteers that provided support for this search and rescue effort."
Who is Holly Courtier?
Holly Suzanne Courtier is from Southern California, according to her Facebook page. She wrote on the page that she attended Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills. She listed Agoura Hills in western Los Angeles County as her current city.
During the search, Courtier’s daughter, Kailey Chambers, described her as an experienced hiker. Chambers told CBS Los Angeles that her mother had gone hiking alone before. As told by her daughter, 38-year-old Courtier used to work as a nanny, before Covid-19 pandemic changed her life and she lost her job. Courtier decided to make the most of the opportunity by taking out time to travel around with a goal to visit all the national parks and go hiking.
Chamber said in an interview, “She absolutely loves hiking and it’s one of her favorite things to do and when she needs clarity and to spend some time with herself, nature is her happy place.”
She earlier told CNN that she usually talked to her mother almost every day and was worried when she had not heard from her for well over a week. "This was her dream, to see national parks. She lost her job as a nanny due to Covid-19. The family could not afford to keep paying her. She made that a positive thing -- said that gave her the time to get out, see the parks," Chambers said. Chambers appealed for help from other hikers to help find Courtier but she said her mother was a fit, experienced hiker and a fighter who could survive for more than a week outdoors in all of Zion's rugged glory. "If I could say anything to her, I would say just keep fighting," she added.
As soon as the news of Courtier's return came social media started reacting to it. One Internet user wrote, "Really wasn't expecting a happy ending to this one after 12 days. Zion is really rugged and brutal once you get away from the main canyon and Vista attractions. Curious where they found her, though." While some requested to donate for her and wrote, "Holly has been found after being missing for 13 days in Zion National Park! She does not have insurance however and will still need help with medical bills, etc. Please consider donating to help her and her family."
really wasn't expecting a happy ending to this one after 12 days. Zion is really rugged and brutal once you get away from the main canyon and Vista attractions. Curious where they found her, though. https://t.co/8CXUIjplwX— Neutral Terminator (@schmendimite) October 18, 2020
Holly has been found after being missing for 13 days in Zion National Park! 🙏🏻— Anne of the West 🦋 (@Western_Annie) October 18, 2020
She does not have insurance however and will still need help with medical bills, etc. Please consider donating to help her and her family.https://t.co/WMogjB0EJv
One user wrote, "A little bit of good news for once! Holly Suzanne Courtier has been found alive at Zion." Calling it a miracle another one wrote, "As someone who loves our national parks (especially Zion) I’m overjoyed that the missing hiker, Holly Courtier, was found after TEN DAYS. whew. What a miracle."
A little bit of good news for once!— Bobby Capucci (@bobby_capucci) October 19, 2020
Holly Suzanne Courtier has been found alive at Zion. https://t.co/hFsFvUY0DJ
As someone who loves our national parks (especially Zion) I’m overjoyed that the missing hiker, Holly Courtier, was found after TEN DAYS. whew. What a miracle.— michele #bidenharris2020 🏳️🌈 (@shellymonstr) October 18, 2020