Rangers of the U.S. National Park Service found the body of a missing Kentucky man at the bottom the Grand Canyon along with a motorcycle, putting closure to a multi-day search and rescue operation, USA Today reported on Friday.
NPS officials said the person is believed to be John Pennington, 40, of Walton in northern Kentucky. He has been missing since Feb. 23.
Park rangers found Pennington's body Wednesday near a yellow motorcycle in the canyon some 465 feet below the South Kaibab Trailhead rim, NPS officials said.
"An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner," UPI quoted the National Park Service as saying.
The body was airlifted by helicopter and taken to the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office. Officials said they hoped the motorcycle could be removed by Thursday, but bad weather delayed the effort.
NPS said Pennington's last known location was the Grand Canyon's south rim near Yaki Point where he had left his vehicle and was riding a yellow motorcycle with Ohio plates.
Park spokesperson Joelle Baird did not immediately respond to an inquiry from the Associated Press on whether there was any indication Pennington drove into the canyon on purpose.
According to Canadian authorities, a man by the same name, age and hometown was caught twice entering the country last year in violation of pandemic border prohibitions, McClatchy News said. He faced a fine up to $750,000.
Pennington denied violating the border restriction and said he was traveling to the U.S. from Alaska. He still faced the charges following a Feb. 8 virtual court hearing, the report said.