submit a death
Saif Savaya (16) drowned trying to swim across the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon
Published: May 19, 2009 @ 11:12 AM
Saif Savaya (16)
Apr 30, 2009
Cause of Death:
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
view their profile
The bodies of two people who had attempted to swim across the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon but were swept away have been found.
The bodies of Saif Savaya, 16, and Joey Merrill, 22, were located Thursday afternoon by a private boating party and a commercial river operator, said Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge.
Oltrogge said park rangers had wished for a better outcome but that they were glad the bodies were recovered for their families.
"To me there's no such thing as closure; it will always be with them," she said. "It's a tragic accident. They will live with it forever, but at least they now know."
Park rangers used a helicopter to retrieve Savaya's body Thursday. The student at Williams Field High School in Gilbert, Ariz. was found about 10 miles downriver from where he last was seen.
Merrill's body was found about 12 miles downriver and was flown out of the canyon Friday morning.
Merrill's brother, 16-year-old Mark Merrill, also drowned in the incident on April 30. His body was found days later.
The river was cold at the time they jumped in, with temperatures of about 50 degrees and swift currents.
The three had been on a trip sponsored by the Tri-City Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz. Joey Merrill was a senior at the church's International Baptist College. His younger brother and Savaya were on the yearly trip as part of the college's outreach and recruitment program. The Merrills were from Sanders in eastern Arizona.
In a letter posted on the church's Web site, the college's student life director and dean of students Keith Gephart described Joey Merrill as gentle, kind and unselfish and said his excitement was contagious.
Merrill, who served as the student body president, was a great example to the youth and adults and will deeply be missed, Gephart said.
"We can only pray that the Lord will raise up more young men like Joey," he said.
Bodies Of 2 Other Hikers Recovered
go back to article archive list
article loaded in 0 ms
April Millsap (14) texted "OMG ... I think I'm being kidnapped" to her boyfriend just before she was abducted and murdered
Police said Michigan schoolgirl April Millsap, 14, texted her boyfriend "OMG ... I think I'm being kidnapped" to her boyfriend just before her death.
Kathleen Talbot (45) died after she suffered a brain aneurysm while driving
A 45-year-old Los Angeles Police Department officer died at a hospital Saturday — two days after suffering what authorities said was a brain aneurysm while driving off-duty in her hometown of Valencia.
Shaun Hiles (35) shot his estranged wife Nicole and her new boyfriend Larry Whiteker (32), before he tried to take his own life
Authorities say a Grant County man fatally shot his estranged wife and a man she was with before turning the gun on himself.
Danielle Cogswell (22) was found dead in her apartment
Danielle Cogswell, who went by "Dani," was found dead inside her apartment off campus near the University of Louisville on Monday morning, police said.
Lonnie Thomas (49) died when a car struck his motorcycle
Lonnie Dewayne Thomas, 49 years old, born January 4th, 1965 in Ozark AR passed away on Saturday, July 12, 2014 in Siloam Springs, AR.
Copyright © 2009 MyDeathSpace.com