FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Coconino County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) detectives are investigating the apparent drowning death of a 16-year-old boy who was visiting Supai Canyon with his Boy Scout troop from Utah. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) police officers who are assigned to Supai Canyon and death investigators of the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office are assisting with the investigation.
According to a BIA police officer at approximately 2 p.m. on June 20, their office received the report of a visitor to the canyon who was a possible drowning victim in a pool of water at Mooney Falls. A medical doctor and nurse from the Supai Medical Center and BIA officers immediately responded to Mooney Falls.
Investigation has revealed the 16-year-old boy, identified as Kreg Harrison Jr. of St. George, Utah, had recently arrived in Supai Canyon with his Boy Scout troop (Green Valley 6 Ward Scout Troop 1800). The group was composed of 12 adults and 19 boys. Harrison and three other scouts were swimming in the pool of water immediately below Mooney Falls. According to the boys who were swimming with Harrison, they were attempting to swim near to or underneath Mooney Falls. Investigators describe the pool beneath the falls as about five feet deep with a very strong undercurrent beneath and in the immediate area of the falls. The boys saw Harrison struggle and go under the water. One of the other boys attempted to pull Harrison above the water; however, the undercurrent was so strong that it almost pulled the second boy under as well.
Eventually one of the other swimmers was able to pull Harrison to the shore.
Numerous people including a medical doctor who was traveling with the scout troop and a BIA officer attempted to save Harrison's life by administering CPR. After an extended period of time it became evident that life saving efforts were unsuccessful. According to an adult witness, two of the scouts were still trapped behind the falls. Adult leaders and Boy Scouts formed a human chain and rescued the two trapped swimmers. Harrison's body was flown by an Arizona Department of Public Safety rescue helicopter to the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office where this investigation will be continued.
The initial intent of the hiking party was to stay in the canyon until June 22 and then hike out. However, in light of this tragic accident the Boy Scouts are being flown out of the canyon by helicopter June 21.