Body of missing swimmer recovered

The body of a 15-year-old Twin Falls girl was recovered Monday morning at Pillar Falls.
Image courtesy Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office
Image courtesy Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office(KMVT)
Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 10:42 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — UPDATE Monday July 26: The body of a 15-year-old Twin Falls girl was recovered Monday morning at Pillar Falls.

Friends reported the girl went under water and did not resurface while swimming at Pillar Falls on Thursday, July 22 just before 7 p.m.

Twin Falls County deputies and Search and Rescue Dive Team members conducted an extensive search Thursday night and the following two days.

The Bureau of Reclamation and Idaho Power worked to reduce the water flow to the falls to help with the search.

On Saturday evening searchers determined they had done what they could, and divers would not return the next day.

Spot checks were done on the water throughout the day Sunday, deputies monitored from the bridge, and Twin Falls Sheriff and Twin Falls Police Drone Operators continued air searches.

A police drone operator located her body this morning at 7:30, about the same time a home owner on the canyon called to report seeing her.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family at this time,” the sheriff’s office said.

Sunday July 25: The search for a missing swimmer near Pillar Falls has reached its fourth day, and there has still been no sign of the missing girl, according to the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office.

Water levels that were pulled back to assist in the search returned to normal Sunday leading to a decrease in search efforts, as the sonar and drones being used become less effective with higher water levels.

According to Sergeant Ken Mencl, who is leading the recovery effort, says the search has been pulled back to spot searches until the water levels are brought back down again.

“Tuesday and Wednesday we expect to see a significant drop in the river and when we see that happening our dive team and our swift water rescue team, they’re on call,” Sgt. Mencl said. “But when we see that reduction in flow, we’ll have everybody back out looking again.”

Mencl and the Sheriff’s Office are still asking the public to stay away from Pillar Falls and the surrounding area, not only to keep the area clear for the search but to prevent even more tragedy.

“The sheer amount of boat traffic there is on the water, whether it be motorized or non-motorized, a lot of times when we are in this recovery process the scene can be quite traumatic and trying for people who aren’t used to seeing something like this,” said Sgt. Mencl.

The rescue effort will enter its fifth day Monday, KMVT will continue to provide updates as they are made available.

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