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Body found in Grand Canyon park believed to be missing hiker

  • Story Highlights
  • National Park Service: Body found in the Bonita Creek area at 9:30 a.m. Saturday
  • About 50 searchers had been looking for Bryce Gillies, last seen a week before
  • Gillies was backpacking through the Deer Creek-Thunder River area of the park
  • Death was the second this month in Grand Canyon National Park
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(CNN) -- Search teams combing the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona found a body on Saturday believed to be that of a missing 20-year-old hiker, the National Park Service said.

Bryce Gillies, 20, left last Saturday for a backpacking trip, saying he would return Monday.

Bryce Gillies, 20, left last Saturday for a backpacking trip, saying he would return Monday.

Bryce Gillies, a student at Northern Arizona University, left last Saturday for his backpacking trip through the Deer Creek-Thunder River area of the park, and said he would return on Monday. A search effort was launched on Tuesday after he was reported missing.

Some 50 National Park Service volunteers and staffers from Grand Canyon and nearby parks joined in the search. One search team found a body in the Bonita Creek area on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (7:30 a.m. ET) that "has been presumptively identified" as Gillies, according to NPS.

"The body will be recovered by helicopter via long-line operation and transferred to the Coconino County Medical Examiner," NPS said.

It is the second death this month at Grand Canyon National Park, a world-famous landmark that receives about 5 million visitors yearly.

A California man drove his car over the edge of canyon's South Rim, plunging some 600 feet into the ravine. His July 13 death was ruled a suicide.

More than 100 hikers have died at the park between 1925 and 2006, half of them fatal falls, according to Michael Ghiglieri and Thomas Myers, authors of "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon."

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