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Hiker who disappeared in flash flooding at Zion National Park is found dead

The body of Jetal Agnihotri was found roughly 6 miles south of an area where she had been hiking.

The body of a hiker who vanished during a flash flood in Utah’s Zion National Park last week was found Monday, officials said Tuesday.

Jetal Agnihotri, 29, was found in the Virgin River near Court of the Patriarchs, a group of sandstone cliffs in a southeast section of the park, the National Park Service said in a news release.

Agnihotri, of Tucson, Arizona, was later pronounced dead by a medical examiner, the release said.

Jetal Agnihotri.
Jetal Agnihotri.NBC News

According to the park, Agnihotri was among multiple hikers who were swept off their feet by flash flooding reported around 2:15 p.m. Friday — about 45 minutes after the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning, NBC affiliate KSL of Salt Lake City reported.

The hikers had been in the Narrows, a slot canyon with 1,000-foot-tall rock walls, the park said.

Rangers responding to the incident found a river swollen by monsoonal rains: During the search, it was flowing at more than 1,100 cubic feet per second, the park said.

By the time the search ended, the flow had diminished to 50 cubic feet per second.

Initially, no hikers were reported missing, the park said. One had been swept downstream several hundred yards and was taken to a hospital; others were found stranded by high water.

Agnihotri was reported missing Friday night. Rangers mobilized a search effort that included 170 responders, the park said. The effort was ended Monday after Agnihotri's body was found about 6 miles south of the Narrows, the park said.

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and family of Jetal Agnihotri,” Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion National Park’s superintendent, said in a statement.

Another park visitor died under similar circumstances in the Narrows in 2014, according to the park. The person had been on a hike when it began to rain and the river quickly swelled to more than 4,000 cubic feet of water per second, the park said.

The hiker's body was found on a bank of the Virgin River. His cause of death appeared to be drowning, according to data obtained through a public records request.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday that flash flooding was "probable" later this week at the park and elsewhere in southern Utah.