Missing Mom Found Alive in Zion National Park After 12 Days

A California mom who has been missing in Utah's Zion National Park since early this month has been found alive last Sunday.

Holly Courtier hails from Woodlands Hills, California, and is an experienced hiker. She didn't return after being dropped off at the Grotto parking area, where she was last seen on October 6, 2020. KABC reports that Courtier has been traveling and visiting national parks after losing her job due to the pandemic.

Her daughter, Kailey Chambers, said she was on a shuttle going into the Zion National Park at around 1 p.m. After that, she didn't get back on her shuttle to come out of the park and get back into town.

Speaking to ABC's "Good Morning America," Jillian Courtier-Oliver said that in the past few days, she had started to lose hope of finding her sister. They were told that Monday was going to be the last day that rangers could get involved in the search and rescue efforts.

Courtier was found thanks to a tip from a park visitor

Twelve days after she has gone missing, a park visitor saw her who then alerted raiders, National Park Service said. In a statement, her family said that they are overjoyed upon learning that she was found safe. They also thanked the rangers and the search team who dedicated time, resources, and support to locate Courtier.

Courtier was reunited with her family last Sunday and is now recovering from a head injury. Chambers told CBS News that her mother is weak and dehydrated after going for days without food. For now, regaining her strength and fully recovering is her top priority.

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She got injured and became disoriented

Chambers explained that Courtier injured her head on a tree early in her trip into Zion National Park. Her mother became disoriented but luckily, she found a river bed. So, she stayed near the water source to increase her chance of survival. Courtier apparently did not leave any itinerary and did not bring a cellphone with her.

Courtier's sister told CBS News said the 38-year-old mom could not move and could barely speak. "She was bruised very badly," she said. The sister added that Courtier could not even open her mouth to drink.

"She is a free spirit and she loves adventure. And I guess since she wasn't working she thought why not go to Zion and explore more."

Chambers said that her mom is an experienced hiker and has experienced hiking alone before. She is also familiar with the park wherein she got lost as she and Chambers already visited Zion together before.

Residents in Woodland Hills said they were shocked to hear about what happened to Courtier but at the same time happy to learn that she is alive. CBS News said that the rescue effort was made possible with the involvement of park rangers, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, K9 units, and a drone operator.

Courtier's sister said, "I know a mother's love. You're going to fight and get home and do what you needed to do. Holly was the strongest out of all of us."

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