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Sheriff’s Office: 19-year-old Provo woman missing in American Fork Canyon

By Nichole Whiteley - | Jan 30, 2024

Courtesy Utah County Sheriff's Office

19-year-old McKenna Miner from Provo was reported missing Tuesday morning, Jan. 30, 2024, and was last heard from Sunday afternoon. Her car was found at Tibble Fork in American Fork Canyon, so search and rescue crews are currently searching for her in the area above Tibble Fork Reservoir.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office received a report at around 7 a.m. Tuesday about a 19-year-old woman missing in American Fork Canyon.

The woman was identified as McKenna Miner from Provo.

Miner’s family last spoke to her at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and her car was confirmed to be seen at Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon at 9 a.m. Monday. The Sheriff’s Office believes she was likely in the canyon on Sunday, possibly to do some sort of mountain activity such as hiking or snowshoeing, spokesperson Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

There are 40 to 50 people who have been out searching since the call came in, of whom about five are paid Sheriff’s Office employees. They are searching in the area above Tibble Fork Reservoir in canyon.

The rest of the search crews include the Utah County Sheriff Search and Rescue team, the Mounted Posse and a pilot in an airplane. The Mounted Posse consists of 32 members on horseback who conduct mountain searches for lost or injured hikers. The people on each of these search and rescue teams are volunteers.

Due to the cold weather in the canyon, they may be doing 24-hour searches, although that has not yet been decided, Cannon said. “If somebody goes missing in the mountains in the summertime, there’s not as much risk because of exposure, and so we may call it off at dark. But there are times when we will continue in the wintertime because if somebody’s out in the mountains and it’s this time of year, then there’s a chance that their safety could be at risk, so we may continue searching,” he said.

The current status of the search is “still looking,” Cannon said, adding that at this time, there has been no discussion of calling off the search or of turning it into a recovery mission. “We don’t like to think of the worst-case scenario, but we certainly recognize that it exists, that possibility. But we move forward, especially this early into a case like this, we move forward as a rescue,” he said.

Cannon said they do not talk about recovery unless they know with an almost surety what the outcome will be. “We move forward as though this is a rescue, not a recovery, and we’re going to do everything we can to find them and get them the help that they need,” he said.


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