Search Under Way for Missing Hiker in Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon rangers were searching Sunday for a North Carolina man thought to be missing in the park's backcountry. Photo courtesy of Andrew Brunelli's family.

A search was under way Sunday for a 43-year-old North Carolina man thought to be missing in the Grand Canyon National Park.

Rangers, acting on a lead from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, on Saturday found a blue Hyundai Accent rental car that had been rented to Andrew Brunelli parked in the Grandview Point parking are 12 miles east of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. That is the jumping off point for hikers setting off down the Grandview Trail.

Aerial searches of the primary trails, routes and drainages in the area were begun Saturday after the man's car was found, and three ground search teams were inserted into the area to begin searching the primary trails. On Sunday aerial search efforts continued and additional ground search teams were be added as they became available.

The sheriff's office had received a missing person's report about Mr. Brunelli on Friday, and their initial investigation indicated that the man had headed off to the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, no specific itinerary for Mr. Brunelli’s visit to the park is known at this time, park officials said. As a result, park investigators are seeking the assistance of anyone who has visited the Grand Canyon within the last week and might have seen Mr. Brunelli.

Andrew Brunelli is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with short medium-brown hair and grey-blue eyes. He may or may not be unshaven at this time. Mr. Brunelli’s last known
location was the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona, where he was last seen by hotel staff on August 30.

If you believe that you have seen Andrew Brunelli since August 30, please, contact the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center at 928-638-7805.

Comments

I want to thank all of the rescue units that are searching for my brother. We hurt so badly. We feel helpless. We appreciate all every one is doing to try and bring him home safely. If anyone has seen him hiking at all, please call the rangers. Thank you. We pray to God he will be found alive.

Lisa Knick, Andrew's sister

All of us hope that your brother will be found safely. I've put out the word on the travel sites I know about - any information at all will help.

Somebody has to have seen him on Grandview Trail or near Hance Creek.

I am the Uncle of the missing hiker, Andrew Brunelli. Thank you for all the coverage.

Just browsed thru the Missteps pages on your Website, I am an avid outdoorsman but still had no idea the # of folks that get into trouble in the Nat. Park system.

Geo

Lisa,
Several of us that were at East Rowan with Andrew are praying and checking for updates. I so wish that Andrew, you and your parents weren't going through this, we are all sending positive thoughts your way.

Thank you, Michele, and all of the East Rowan High School friends. It is comforting to know so many people are praying for us.

Lisa