Thirty six year old Casey Frazier of Mesa, Arizona was with his girlfriend and several children off Forest Road 9350, a picturesque spot with 180-degree views of the Tonto National Forest, two miles west of the Woods Canyon Lake turnoff.
They left their campsite on the north side of the dirt road and were walking along the south side of the road, closest to the Rim, said Sgt. Terry Hudgens with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
“It had been raining and it was awfully wet,” he said.
The man’s girlfriend later told Hudgens the man had been walking close to the edge, which made her nervous.
She asked him to step back from the edge and at some point he sat down on a rock overlooking the precipice.
She reportedly turned toward the children. When she turned back, he was standing up from the rock. She turned around again toward the children and heard a scream.
When she looked back, the man was gone.
Authorities estimate the man fell some 200 to 300 feet.
Heber and Forest Lakes firefighters rappelled down to him and attempted resuscitation, but he had died.
With the help of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, 18 men pulled his body up.
Both the Coconino and Gila County Sheriff’s Offices are investigating the incident since the Rim cuts through both jurisdictions.
TRSAR got several other calls for assistance this weekend.
As volunteers were leaving after recovering the body at the base of the Rim on Saturday, they received reports of a woman lost near Tonto Basin.
By the time volunteers made it to the area, the woman had returned home safely.
On Friday, TRSAR responded to two other false alarms, this time near Fossil Springs.
An older man reportedly needed help getting up the steep trail. However, by the time the Mounted Posse saddled up at the trailhead, he emerged unscathed.
Simultaneously, another man was reportedly trapped on a cliff ledge near the creek above the old dam.
As crews prepared to go down to rescue him, they got word he figured out how to get down and the search was called off, TRSAR Commander Bill Pitterle said.