Missing ASU professor found dead in Oak Creek Canyon

Published: May. 8, 2016 at 8:23 PM MST|Updated: May. 9, 2016 at 4:26 PM MST
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(Source: Coconino County Sheriff)
(Source: Coconino County Sheriff)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Debra Schwartz, a professor at Arizona State University, was found dead on Sunday morning, May 8, at the bottom of an unnamed slot canyon below the rim of Oak Creek Canyon, authorities said.

According to Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Schwartz's body was discovered Sunday morning by a search and rescue team. The technical rescue team completed three rope rappels before reaching the body. Schwartz was located one-half mile from her campsite.

The cause of death is under investigation. The body will be taken to the medical examiner's office for further evaluation.

Rescue crews had searched the canyon for two days before locating Schwartz. The search and rescue teams consisted of riders on horseback, off-road vehicles, ground searchers, three dogs and the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office helicopter team and Jeep posse.

According to her biography, Schwartz taught English at ASU and specialized in humor writing, personal experience and memoir, and led popular writing workshops locally and throughout the country. She was also a veteran environment and science reporter and feature writer emphasizing literary journalism.

Oak Creek Canyon is located just northeast of Sedona.

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