Searchers find body at bottom of Grand Canyon

Monday, May 15, 2006

PHOENIX -- Crews searching for a Japanese tourist found a body at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but it was not known if the body was that of the visitor.

Tomomi Hanamure, 24, of Tokyo, has been missing since last Monday, when she checked in at a lodge in the village of Supai on the canyon's floor. But she apparently never slept in the room and her belongings were still there Tuesday morning, said Coconino County Sheriff's spokesman Gerry Blair.

The body found Saturday was reported by a Supai resident, who notified deputies of a person floating in water just north of the village.

Blair said he did not know whether the body was male or female.

The death is considered suspicious and is being investigated by sheriff's deputies, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI, he said.

Hanamure had a ticket to fly back to Tokyo from Los Angeles on Sunday, Blair said. She arrived in Los Angeles last week, rented a car and went to several tourist spots before driving to Arizona, he said.

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