On October 20th 2020 Sergeant Darrell Cashin spoke with a local media outlet regarding our agency’s involvement in Zion National Park’s missing person investigation of hiker, Holly Courtier. During the interview, Sergeant Cashin commented on circumstances of Courtier’s recovery which were not consistent with our training and experience. These inconsistencies raised some questions as to the authenticity of the events as reported to law enforcement. In response to numerous media inquiries, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office stands behind the observations and statements made by Sergeant Cashin. However. we feel it is important to clarify that we stand by our initial release that we were only involved in a consultation role. We fully support the findings of the National Park Service investigation and believe their investigation into the incident was thorough and well executed.
Sergeant Cashin’s comments, along with national media coverage, led to many additional questions and theories regarding the incident. Numerous tips have been received indicating the incident was possibly conceived and carried out as part of a plan to fraudulently generate money to a GoFundMe account for Courtier’s recovery.
Despite the thorough investigation conducted by the National Park Service, Utah State Code does not grant them the authority to investigate violations of Utah law. Based on our local authority and jurisdiction, the Sheriff’s Office had an obligation to the public to investigate the criminal allegations which were being presented.
At this point in the investigation, there has been no evidence to support the theory that the incident was committed intentionally as an effort to achieve financial gain. However, we ask that any credible information submitted is based on tangible leads, and/or evidence which can be shared with investigators. Tips regarding this case should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org