Workman Creek Falls

A 32-year-old Glendale man fell to his death in a remote canyon east of Payson over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Justin Ott was camping with family at Reynolds Creek Campground, which is located between Young and Roosevelt Lake off Forest Road 288, the Young Road. Ott and his brother-in-law visited Workman Creek Falls May 23. The falls are located roughly two miles south of the campground.

The men were standing above the falls taking photographs, said Sgt. Dennis Newman with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

Ott reportedly got in the ankle-deep stream and slipped on the moss. Ott’s brother-in-law reported he watched Ott try to find his footing, but he slid and fell backward some 175 feet down the falls.

The GCSO received multiple 911 calls about the incident from witnesses around 5 p.m.

Deputies along with detectives from the GCSO, Sheriff’s Posse and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue responded and recovered Ott’s body.

Sheriff Adam Shepherd thanked both the Sheriff’s Office Posse and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue for their coordinated response.

“Sheriff Shepherd extends his condolences to the family and friends during this difficult time. Our thoughts are also with the first responders who responded to such a tragic and difficult call,” according to a release.

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