Body of local man found in Blackrock Canyon identified by county officials - East Idaho News

Body of local man found in Blackrock Canyon identified by county officials

  Published at  | Updated at
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready ...

POCATELLO — The body of a local man has been recovered from the canyon just south of Pocatello.

Steven Smith, 49, is believed to have gone out alone into Blackrock Canyon Sunday morning to inspect his wrecked ATV. A group of Smith’s friends went looking for him after several hours of not hearing from him and found him dead.

“My heart goes out to Steven’s parents, family and friends during this difficult time,” said Coroner Torey Danner in a news release.

Smith’s death is suspected by Danner to be medically related, but the official cause will be determined following an investigation. He is not suspected by authorities to have died from foul play.

The family reported the incident to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office around 7:30 p.m. that day. Deputies, Search and Rescue personnel and the Coroner’s Office secured the area, and found Smith about a mile away from the Blackrock Canyon Trailhead in a steep canyon that is difficult to access without off-road vehicles.

Blackrock Canyon Rescue 1
Search and Rescue begins its descent down the canyon. | Photo courtesy Bannock County
Blackrock canyon rescue 2
Search and Rescue continues to descend the canyon. | Photo courtesy Bannock County

Because of the low-visibility and steep terrain, authorities decided it was unsafe to recover the body until the morning. Deputies remained on scene until 3 a.m. and returned at 9 a.m. Smith’s body was recovered on Monday at noon.

Responding to this incident was the Backcountry Rescue Team, a new unit of Search and Rescue made up of volunteers skilled in many forms of backcountry recreation. According to the news release, this was the team’s first mission and they were “essential” to completing the recovery.

“I want to thank our dedicated volunteers with the Search and Rescue and Backcountry Rescue teams for their willingness to drop everything to help when one of our neighbors in need. Their efforts are truly appreciated,” said Sheriff Tony Manu.

The sheriff’s office will not be releasing additional information while the investigation continues.