At approximately 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday, October 25, Kane County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a call about an overdue individual who had been deer hunting near Wahweap Wash, located east of Grosvenor Arch off of Cottonwood Canyon Road. The family’s last contact with 42-year-old Ryan Shakespear from Cedar City was around 6:30 p.m. Monday evening. The family has a cabin in the area and had been in contact with Shakespear by radio. His family had started searching just after dark on Monday, and searched all night in the mud and rain trying to locate him.

Shakespear was familiar with the area, but the heavy rains in the area caused the family to be concerned about his well being. When he had not returned by Tuesday morning, Kane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue began formulating a response plan. A helicopter from Classic Air Medical out of Page, Arizona, was contacted to assist with the search efforts. A search and rescue squad was dispatched out of Kanab, with equipment to search the roads and trails with four-wheel drive vehicles, hiking crews that could search on foot, and a rope rescue team if needed for a canyoneering type rescue.

While en route to the area, search crews were notified that a family member had located Shakespear. His brothers were able to guide his father and an uncle to his location. The uncle confirmed that Shakespear was deceased. It appears he lost his footing and fell approximately 150 feet. Because of his location at the bottom of the cliff, a rope rescue team was needed to get him out.

The helicopter crew determined that they could land close to Shakespear’s body in the bottom of the canyon. They flew to Kanab and picked up the Kane County Sheriff’s Office Medical Investigator and transported him to the scene. After completing the investigation of the accident scene by the investigator, Shakespear’s body was transported by helicopter to sheriff’s office personnel waiting at Grosvenor Arch. Shakespear was then transferred to Mosdell Mortuary in Kanab, who transported him to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office, who will determine the cause of death.

Shakespear leaves behind a wife and six children. He worked for the BLM in Cedar City, Utah.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue crews wish to express their condolences to Shakespear’s family and co-workers for their loss.