Woman Who Survived 12-Days in Zion National Park, UT Checks into Psychiatric Unit as Police Open Investigation

SnowBrains |
Zion national park, Utah
Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38. Credit: Zion NPS

Washington County Sheriff’s Office, UT, has opened an official investigation into the Californian woman who survived 12-days in Zion National Park after receiving numerous tips.

Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, was found alive after spending almost two weeks in the wilderness of Zion National Park, UT, after becoming disorientated when she banged her head early in the hike, her daughter told CNN.

“She injured her head on a tree. She was very disoriented as a result and thankfully ended up near a water source — a river bed. She thought her best chance of survival was to stay next to a water source.”

– Kailey Chambers told CNN

Last week, a member of Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue claimed that the story told by 38-year-old Holly Suzanne Courtier “does not add up’. Sgt. Darrell Cashin and his team were involved in locating Courtier on October 18th after a tip-off was received from a member of the public. He sees several discrepancies in her recollection of the 12-day period. Courtier was found within half a mile of the Grotto parking area she was last sighted at.

Zion, Utah
The items Holly is thought to have had on her. Credit: Zion NPS

Officials say they have no evidence to support the allegations that the incident was intentionally concocted to achieve financial gain. A GoFundMe was set up for Courtier while she was missing, raising almost $12,000.

Courtier has suffered a mental breakdown since being rescued and has checked herself into a psychiatric unit, according to her sister, to be treated for mental illness since returning to civilization and being under the spotlight. Courtier went into Zion National Park on a solo spiritual pilgrimage.

Zion National Park is an American national park located in southwestern Utah near the town of Springdale. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to 2,640 ft (800 m) deep. The canyon walls are reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone eroded by the Virgin River’s North Fork. The lowest point in the park is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash, and the highest peak is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and various life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.

Zion national park, Utah
Zion National Park, UT

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44 thoughts on “Woman Who Survived 12-Days in Zion National Park, UT Checks into Psychiatric Unit as Police Open Investigation

  1. How does a Human being survive 12 days with out water ? I’m not a doctor but I have always understood that 3 days is the maximum amount time that someone can go with out water ? . Can someone survive longer than 3 days with out water ? And no food for 12 days ?
    This woman’s story doesn’t make sense. The truth will come out .

    1. easy. she stayed near the virgin river.
      oh.. what’s that? toxic cyanobacteria?
      well then… she… only wetted her mouth… from alternate… water sources. or something.

      also she supposedly fasted for 10 days BEFORE “getting lost” for 12 days with enough food for a 4-hour hike. 4 hours of calories to last 22 days.

      did i mention this trail is almost the equivalent of “getting lost” behind the visitor center.

  2. People suck, this is true . this many comments about this woman that has nothing to do with snow or skiing proves that. Armchair quarterbacks with misplaced anger. But no one cares about vertika/lesh antics?
    Get it together people

  3. the biggest problem i have:
    the part of the park she “got lost.” it wasn’t the back country. it was near the road and the virgin river. she evaded SAR teams, dogs, and drones for 12 days? this part of the park you could bump into other day-hikers every hour or less. she should have picked a more believable area to “get lost” in. the fact she was “found” 1000 meters from her drop-off point is an obvious clue.
    she fasted for 10 days BEFORE being lost for 12 days with only enough snacks for a 4-hour hike?
    she survived on virgin river water, and when the cyanobacteria problem was brought up the story changed to “uhhh… some OTHER water. she totally knew about the cyanobacteria.”
    no one doubts she could have survived. we just doubt she got lost and survived in the place and manner that has been described.

  4. The entire story (real or not) is sad. It’s sad she was mentally ill even before the hiking trip & is now seeking help in a mental health facility. It doesn’t matter what she claims occurred during those 12 days due to her mental illness as she may believe what she says happened or it possibly is true what she is claiming. However, who are we to judge? Is the outcome or truth going to directly affect you or your immediate family? Is it going to take food off of your tables? The answer is No, it sure isn’t and we all need to look in the mirror and perform a self inventory of our own perfect lives. This woman is mentally ill and shame on the ones who are judging her right now.

    1. Search and rescue crews costing taxpayers money were dispatched to try to find her. There are risks incurred by those crews every time they are used.
      Factor in the potential fraud angle regarding the GFM campaign.
      These two things make a potential fake incident so egregious.

      1. Right. I did have a mental breakdown from an abusive marriage. It wasn’t fun. No way I could have advertised for donations. How could she walk out of a park after 12 days, a head injury so severe she was disoriented and dehydrated, but not leave in the provided ambulance? No way.

  5. There’s enough crazy things going on in this world that need are attention folks, can we for once show some compassion for this young woman and her famly. And instead of arguing about if she’s telling the truth, just be grateful she is safe. After we clean out our own closet to perfection , do we have the right to judge others. That’s just my humble opinion.

    1. Search and rescue crews costing taxpayers money were dispatched to try to find her. There are risks incurred by those crews every time they are used.
      Factor in the potential fraud angle regarding the GFM campaign.
      These two things make a potential fake incident so egregious.

  6. Listen up everyone? If you want.
    All of us have our opinions. I’ve hiked Zion, and many parks while younger.I also don’t belittle true mental illness. Her story true or not is interesting. Found less than a kilometer from the parking area at the trailhead. If anything this is just a reminder to all please be safe whenever you venture out. Natural hazards, potential animal predators, or less civilized human ones could be out there. If you feel confused, don’t hike alone. That said is this a lie,scam, excetera? Does it really matter? The screwed up media should a concern to all!!!!

  7. Don’t forget she WAS diagnosed at a hospital for a concussion and dehydration. Both will cause confusion. Pray you never experience either one and are misjudged.

  8. Glad she’s getting help. mental health issues isn’t a joke I hate to see others make fun of her. For now details are not known.

  9. Mental illness is a serious issue, sometimes life threatening. Don’t blow her off as a “nut case” or fraud or attention seeker. She’s mentally ill. Not funny.

  10. Every single local person who read this lady’s story thinks it makes sense.
    Of course a person could survive 12 days, no way THIS PERSON survived 12 days in this part of the park in the manner she claims.
    It’s super disheartening to see news headlines worded as if her story was fact. “Woman who survived 12…” Should be “Woman who claims to have survived 12….”
    Not a single part of this saga had been likely. It got less and less likely as her family adjusted the story as new facts came out.

    1. Her and her daughter are eye candy, I think they are looking to become the next Kardashians hoping for someone to approach them with a reality show of their own I think she was hiding not lost and now that their story is beginning to fall apart she checks herself into a psych ward to avoid the questions that everyone is asking. That’s the crazy thing about publicity, you cannot control the outcome and now this stunt of theirs is blowing up in their faces.

  11. Easy explanation: she had been out of work so there’s your reason for the GFM account. Entire thing was a hoax.

  12. I believe we all have suffered some sort of mental trauma as a resort of this pandemic and the media making it all about politics.

  13. I knew right from the get-go something was very wrong with this story when she was found 1. A half mile from the parking lot/drop-off area and 2. Claiming that banging her head caused disorientation for 12 days as an experienced hiker. Not sure what the real answer to this drama is unless she really has mental issues and is looking for attention.

  14. If she is lying, the thing with lying you always get caufht. Lies are to hard to remember so you keep lying because you can’t remember the lie from before.

  15. A picture says a thousand words no doubt.
    Hope she is ok, glad seeking help.
    Mental health is very challenging especially in this pandemic time.
    Btw what does this article have to do with snowsports sliding???

    1. I’m seeing disturbing trend of mocking and humiliating people with mental problems. While seriously mentally disturbed people with guns are completely ignored people are pounding on this woman for weeks already. Did she kill someone, did she burn a building? Leave her alone to recuperate and heal

      1. Ivy she is literally using this to get thousands of dollars, but because she didn’t “kill someone, or burn a building” it’s ok? Lol you are a part of the problem we haver in society today.. People with actual health problems don’t ask for other peoples money to get the help they need, they just go get the help they need.

  16. Sister says she had a mental breakdown since she was rescued. Sister also said she had a mental breakdown prior to going into the wilderness (WITHOUT A CELLPHONE). Sister also said she was a very experienced hiker and outdoorsman. NOT!!! Sister said media and everyone else has twisted the details. Sister didn’t bother to tell everyone that they were searching for a full blown NUT!!! The details still don’t add up. Someone please explain to me how you can hit your head on a tree as the result of laying in a hammock, so sever that you are dazed for 12 days. We definitely DO NOT know all the details to this case.

    1. You spelled severe wrong
      Also, can’t we “judge not …etc”?
      Give the poor lady a break. Don’t you people have more important stuff to b–ch about?
      Thankfully, this lady is okay
      12 days in the wilderness is probably more than most of you could handle, sane or otherwise

      1. Hey judgeeeee Johan,
        You forgot to put a period at the end of your sentence!!!
        Take your judgements somewhere else honey.

    2. Totally agree, and sister set up Go Fund Me for help in paying for cost of rescue and counseling. How did she know she was going to need counseling before she was found. If my understanding of the timeline is correct. It’s all just off. Needed attention and money? Who goes hiking without a cell. You want to disconnect from people fine, turn it off. But a woman traveling alone and then hiking without communication is dangerous and ignorant.

    3. How can anyone survive with a head injury in a park alone with no food, no shelter, no safe drinking water and walk out? It doesn’t add up. The go fund me donations added up though.

      1. This was suspect from day 1. My intuition told me that the story her daughter was telling, didn’t add up. I knew there had to be a back story to this.. and I was correct.

      1. Bat shit crazy is not a mental illness. Faking a mental illness to avoid prosecution is not only morally wrong it wastes a bed on a psych unit a legitimate patient needs and wastes taxpayers money. If she’s faking I hope she’s prosecuted to the full extent. And she and her daughter have to pay back the go fund me donations.

  17. When a person is about to be caught in a lie?! The best thing to do is check into a psychiatric hospital in order to claim that a mental illness is/was the direct cause for their actions and behavior.

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