Officials identify Austrian tourist found dead in Palo Duro Canyon

Published: Jun. 25, 2013 at 2:26 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2013 at 9:09 PM CDT
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Officials have identified the Austrian tourist who took a fatal fall in Palo Duro Canyon Monday afternoon as 47-year-old Gerald Christoph Folser.

The man fell off the edge of the Canyon off the CCC Trail and died in a ravine from traumatic injuries.

Officials say the victim left his hiking partner to take pictures off the trail. It took several hours for a DPS helicopter to spot the body.

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CANYON - A 47-year-old man is dead after a fatal fall in Palo Duro Canyon Monday afternoon. Randall County officials believe the man to be an Austrian tourist.

Palo Duro Canyon Park Superintendent Cory Evans told NewsChannel 10 that a friend of the deceased reported him missing around 3 p.m. when he did not show up after taking a hike.

Randall County Sheriff officials were dispatched to the canyon at 3:51 p.m. Randall County Sheriff deputies, the Canyon Fire Department, Palo Duro Canyon Police officers, and a DPS helicopter responded to the incident.

The DPS chopper spotted the hiker around 6 p.m. in a ravine close to the CCC trail. Rescue crews had to repel down a steep cliff to reach the man.

Randall County officials say the man suffered traumatic injuries after a fall. Witnesses told Randall County the victim got separated from his hiking partner trying to take photos off the trail.

Evans said it was above 100 degrees in the canyon Monday.