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Local man’s body recovered from Blackrock Canyon in Bannock County

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Coroner Press Releases, Newsroom, Sheriff Press Releases

BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho – On Monday, June 24, the Bannock County Search and Rescue team recovered the body of a local man in the Blackrock Canyon south of Pocatello.

The Bannock County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Steven Smith, 49, of Pocatello. The cause of his death is suspected to be medically related but will be officially determined following an investigation. No foul play is suspected.

Smith is believed to have gone to the canyon by himself on the morning of Sunday, June 23, to inspect his wrecked ATV, which he had left in the canyon a week prior. After not hearing from him for several hours, Smith’s friends, who were familiar with the area the ATV had wrecked, went to check on him and found him deceased.

The family reported the incident to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Deputies, Search and Rescue personnel, and the Coroner’s Office responded to the area and secured the location.

Responders found Smith about a mile from the Blackrock Canyon Trailhead in a steep, rocky canyon that was difficult to access without proper off-road vehicles.

Due to the steep terrain and low visibility, authorities determined it was unsafe to recover him until the morning. Deputies were at the scene until 3 a.m. Monday and returned at 9 a.m. to resume recovery operations.

Smith’s body was recovered safely without further incident.

The Bannock County Search and Rescue’s Backcountry Rescue Team was essential to successfully completing the recovery mission. The Backcountry Rescue Team is a new unit of Search and Rescue that is comprised of volunteers skilled in backcountry recreation, including skiing, snowmobiling, mountaineering, and off-road vehicles. This was their first mission responding to a Search and Rescue call.

“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 is in need. Their efforts are truly appreciated,” said Sheriff Tony Manu.

Responders expressed their condolences to Smith’s family for their loss.

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

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information will be released at this time.

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