Following a 4-day search, authorities recovered the body of Amanda Taylor, 31, of Vernal, Utah, at approximately 5:45 p.m. Wednesday upriver of the Salida Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Rescue workers and family members searched along the river after Taylor disappeared when a private raft overturned Saturday evening near the Lowhead Dam north of Salida.
Taylor’s family had remained in the area since the incident to assist with the search efforts, Salida Fire Chief Doug Bess said. Agencies involved in the search included Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Salida Fire Department, Chaffee County Search and Rescue, Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
In previous days, teams searched the banks and water from above the Lowhead Dam north of Salida to the Fremont County line, before asking the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office to continue the search to Wellsville, Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze said.
Taylor’s brother spotted her body caught on a branch near the shore on river left at the confluence of the South Arkansas and Arkansas rivers. He positively identified her upon arrival of responders, Bess said.
Family members held Taylor’s body in place to prevent it from floating further downstream until emergency workers arrived on scene, he said.
Bess said Taylor’s body must have recently floated down to where it was found after search teams had come through the area on rafts earlier in the day.
Weather conditions, such as temperature and moisture, contributed to the delay in locating her body, he said.Taylor’s body was sent to the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office for examination, Bess said.