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Young Couple Found Dead In Grand Canyon, Leaving Investigators Searching For Answers

"How or why they fell off of the rim we don’t know," a Grand Canyon National Park spokesperson said of Garret Bonkowski and Jessica Bartz.

By Gina Tron

A young couple was found dead in the Grand Canyon, leaving puzzled authorities to piece together what happened to them.

Garret Bonkowski, 25, and Jessica Bartz, 22, were found dead earlier this month in an area overlooking a popular trail on the South Rim, National Park Service investigators said Friday. Their vehicle was nearby.

The couple entered the park Sept. 18 and were found dead by hikers on Oct. 1. There's no account of their activities once inside the park, Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said.

“They were found just below the rim on a social trail Oct. 1,” Cobb told the St. George News, based in southern Utah. “We know they came from the top of the rim, but how or why they fell off of the rim we don’t know.”

Additional details of their death have not been released.

No one reported the couple, who lived in a Phoenix suburb, missing.

Investigators haven't figured out if foul play was involved, Cobb told the St. George News. She didn't know if autopsies had been done.

Bonkowski was wearing a Pokemon baseball cap with the character Charmander, authorities said.

The National Park Services urges anyone in the public who may have seen Bartz and Bonkowski in the park on or around September 18, or anyone with information, to call or text 888-653-0009. Tips may also be submitted online at  www.nps.gov/ISB or by e-mail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

[Photo: National Park Service]

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