The remains of Scott Walsh were found unexpectedly in the Grand Canyon while search crews were looking for missing Hungarian man Gabor Berczi-Tomscanyi. According to authorities, 56-year-old Walsh was first reported missing in 2015 and remained so for six years. Then, in mid-August when search crews were checking the park for Berczi-Tomscanyi, Walsh’s remains were located.
Representatives for the Grand Canyon claimed that they were almost positive that the skeletal remains belonged to Scott Walsh. Investigators discovered a New York-issued driver’s license in a jacket pocket near the remains. Previously, authorities had found prescription bottles belonging to Walsh within a day pack found three miles from the remains.
It was reported that the Coconino County medical examiner’s office is conducting DNA testing to confirm the identity of the skeletal remains.
According to park spokeswoman Joelle Baird, the unintentional discovery occurred while search crews frantically looked for Gabor Berczi-Tomscanyi. The Hungarian man had been reported missing in July but was found in mid-August. The discovery of Scott Walsh’s remains was a coincidence, Baird said.
“It happens every once in a while here during searches that we end up finding people we weren’t expecting,” she explained on Wednesday. Authorities said that Walsh’s clothing blended into the surrounding rock formations and his body was positions in a way that made it undetectable. It was only when search crews were forced to take a closer look that they realized they were remains.
Gabor Berczi-Tomscanyi was a Hungarian national who lived in Hong Kong, according to reports. He had been reported missing in late July after traveling in the U.S. Southwest. He was last seen near Las Vegas, Nevada and his car was found parked in the Grand Canyon parking lot in mid-August. Once investigators had realized he might be in the Grand Canyon, his body was found a few days later.
The body was found 430 feet beneath the canyon’s rim at Yavapai Point. Police have yet to confirm what happened leading up to Berczi-Tomscanyi’s tragic plunge. His cause of death was determined to be from the 430-foot drop, though it was unclear if it was suicide or if there was another cause.
Scott Walsh’s body was found during an aerial search. The remains were found 600 feet beneath the Pipe Creek overlook. According to Joelle Baird, “the fact that he was found was just coincidental. We weren’t necessarily looking for him, and he wasn’t a person that was really on our radar.”
While it was later determined that Scott Walsh went missing in 2015, it was not reported to the park as such until later. Reports claimed that his last known residence was in Ecuador. It was said that the Grand Canyon park officials have yet to locate Walsh’s immediate family, though they have spoken with his friends.
The circumstances surrounding Walsh’s death remain a mystery six years later. It wasn’t immediately clear if suicide played a role in his death. It wasn’t reported whether authorities were investigating his cause of death.
Accidental Grand Canyon finds are not new. Rangers have found remains of missing people many times, particularly during scheduled training procedures. Many of the remains have been identified as individuals reported missing years before.
It has also happened that rafters near the Grand Canyon have located missing persons while exploring the park. In 2015, a group of rafters found a small aircraft that had crashed into the park. The rafters, who had originally been searching for old mining equipment, also found human bones scattered near the wreckage.
In a separate incident in December 2017, another group of rafters found the body of a California man who had been missing for six months. He had last been seen on a Grand Canyon trail. It was not clear how he died.