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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local April 29, 2016

11/9/2012 5:40:00 PM
Missing hiker found in Pumphouse Wash
Case remains mysterious
Shaun Rentz
Shaun Rentz

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

SEDONA-- The Coconino County Sheriff's Office has recovered a body in Pumphouse Wash, at the north end of Oak Creek Canyon. The agency has now determined the dead body to be that of a Minnesota man reported missing in July.

The Sheriff's Office received a call from a hiker late last Sunday afternoon. The hiker advised he had been hiking in Pumphouse Wash when he discovered a decomposed body off the trail. Since it was nightfall and the hiker was already out of the canyon, Sheriff's deputies delayed the recovery until Monday morning.

The hiker led deputies and detectives, Coconino County Search and Rescue, and Coconino County Medical Examiners Office to the area Monday morning. The body was located about 3/4 of a mile east of the Oak Creek Vista Overlook and taken to the Medical Examiners Office for autopsy to attempt to determine identification. Cause of death is still under investigation.

Investigators have now confirmed through dental records that the body is 27-year-old Shaun Rentz of White Bear Lake, Minn. Rentz' vehicle was found abandoned at the Oak Creek Vista overlook parking lot on July 31 this summer. An extensive search was conducted at that time to locate Rentz but he was not found.

In August, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported that Shaun Rentz was reported missing to Ramsey County, Minn., authorities after he failed to meet with friends over the weekend and then didn't show up to move in with friends at their new home in the Twin Cities that Monday.

An off-and-on girlfriend from Minneapolis told police that he called suddenly, sounding a little sad and that friends had said he put in for two weeks vacation from his job.

Spokesman Gerry Blair of the Coconino Sheriff's office, admitted at the time that the missing case was perplexing and said, "we don't know why he left Minnesota" and that a "parallel criminal investigation" is "working with the family to determine whether [Rentz] was voluntarily missing."

Taylor Waste

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