Daughter of rescued Zion hiker says she was 'too weak and disoriented' to seek help

Holly Suzanne Courtier's daughter said her mother hit her head on a tree and survived severe dehydration and hunger while lost for nearly two weeks in Utah's Zion National Park.
Image:
Zion National Park in southern Utah, where hiker Holly Suzanne Courtier went missing for nearly two weeks earlier this month. Mikayla Whitmore
/ Source: TODAY

The daughter of a hiker who vanished in Utah's Zion National Park for nearly two weeks has shed light on her mother's ordeal, saying she was so hungry and dehydrated she couldn't take more than two steps without collapsing.

Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, was found by a visitor who alerted park officials on Sunday. The Los Angeles woman had been reported missing on Oct. 8 inside the 229-square-mile park.

Holly Suzanne Courtier was so dehydrated she could barely walk without collapsing while being lost in Utah's Zion National Park, her daughter said. The Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service

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"Early in her trip into Zion, she injured her head on a tree," Courtier's daughter, Kailey Chambers, said in a statement to NBC News. "She was very disoriented as a result and thankfully ended up near a water source - a river bed. She thought her best chance of survival was to stay next to a water source. We are so grateful for that and grateful for the people who located her."

Courtier was last seen when a private shuttle dropped her off on Oct. 6 at the Grotto area inside the park. She was reported missing two days later, park officials said.

She was found by law enforcement in a thickly vegetated area along the Virgin River and was able to leave of her own capability with minimal assistance, the National Park Service said in a statement.

In her statement, Chambers said her mother's situation was more serious. Courtier was without food the entire time she was missing and had become disoriented, she said.

"She was too weak and disoriented to actively seek out help," Chambers said. "She was unable to take more than a step or two without collapsing. This prevented her from being able to seek out help. She told me she was so dehydrated she couldn't open her mouth."

The family expressed their gratitude at her return after a search that included K-9 units, volunteers, and federal, state and local rescue teams. Chambers said Courtier was "still weak but recovering," and that caregivers were giving her fluids and "slowly introducing foods."

"My mom's recovery is my top priority right now," Chambers said. "We appreciate the public outpour of support and are grateful to everyone who helped find her. We will continue to focus on her health and will update everyone when possible."