John Pennington found. Missing Walton, Kentucky man along with motorcycle is found dead inside Grand Canyon. Unanswered questions.
On Wednesday, National Park Service personnel located a body and motorcycle below the South Kaibab Trailhead of the Grand Canyon after a multi-day search and rescue operation, officials said in a statement.
Officials said the individual is believed to be John Pennington, 40, of Walton. Pennington has been missing since Feb. 23.
The identification was based on evidence found with the body. The individual has been transferred to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office, officials said.
Park rangers said that the recovered body was located approximately 465 feet below the rim and was transported to the rim by helicopter.
Pennington was believed to have entered Grand Canyon on or around Feb. 23 and abandoned his personal vehicle near Yaki Point, according to officials.
An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner.
No additional information was immediately available and a park spokeswoman, Ranger Joelle Baird, did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Associated Press regarding whether there was any indication Pennington purposely drove into the canyon, or whether the ‘inciden’t was an accident. It remained unclear how Pennington came to commandeer the motorbike in such rocky terrain.
Of note, a previous report told of an American tourist identified as Pennington having violated Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions at least twice to sneak a visit to Banff National Park in June, 2020, being wanted and facing more $500,000 in fines and up to six months in jail.