Body of Missing Lost Dutchman Hiker Possibly Found by Superstition Search and Rescue

Categories: Missing Person

Courtesy photo from Robert Cooper, head of SSAR
The area where the body was found.
Members of the Superstition Search and Rescue have discovered what they suspect is the body of a hiker missing since Monday.

Crews from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office responded to Lost Dutchman State Park on Monday night -- four days ago -- after receiving a call of an overdue hiker, PCSO spokeswoman Tamra Ingersoll told the Arizona Republic on Wednesday.

Ingersoll told the Republic that Christopher Hensley, 34, was last seen Monday afternoon when he set out for a hike through the state park. She also said on Wednesday that the sheriff's search crews had been searching for more than 45 hours but found no sign of Hensley.

SSAR members are just now coming down the mountain after making their discovery and reporting it to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

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New Times spoke with Robert Cooper, head of the SSAR, as he sat on a rock in the canyon waiting for law enforcement officials to arrive and debrief him about his team's find.

Jamie Peachey
Robert Cooper
Cooper tells us the body fits the description of the missing man, but no positive identification has been made by law enforcement officials.

Cooper says he received a call last night from the wife of the missing man, asking for his team's assistance. He went to her home and got a print from her husband's shoe.

The team's success would depend on tried-and-true tracking.

Last night, after Cooper left the wife's home, he went to the park's fence line, searched the footprints on the ground and says he was able to determine where the hiker apparently entered the park.

About 8:30 a.m. today, 11 SSAR members hiked into the canyon and ascended the steep cliffs.

They found a body in less than three hours.

"We can't just come out unless we're asked," Cooper explains about his team's involvement. "Our team is no longer part of the PCSO search-and-rescue team. We're a private nonprofit organization."

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu started his own search-and-rescue team, effectively booting SSAR for not wanting to disband and work under the sheriff's command.

"We figured out where he entered and followed his prints into the canyon," Cooper says.

Crews from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Pima County had also been assisting in the search.

Cooper says it the body of the man is at the base of a 200-foot cliff, and while it appears that he fell, it's unclear from what point on the face of the Flat Iron cliff the man fell.

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Just would like to Thank the SSAR Team i and many more people appreciate what you do for  AZ. You rescued are son who was 11 years old at the time  along with 1 other child 2 adults, who were lost, Dutchman. They had gone off the trail were out there all night long. I had just lost my Eldest son who was in the military. Was not wanting to lose my youngest. You are amazing what you do do help fine people who get lost all the time. Thank You so very much, also the Sheriff Posse,  Amazing they volunteer' is there a address would like  to be able to donate? 


SSAR is great. Real professionals, not political hacks


Thank you so much mr. Cooper and your team for caring enough to actually listen to me and go to the area I told you chris went to. I begged the other team to look at flat iron but they kept telling me he wouldn't have made it that far and it was too dangerous. Your team needs to be the first team on the field whenever someone gets lost in the mountains. You did your job and you did it well. His young daughters and I are so grateful for your help. We can now start the healing process. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Mrs. Hensley


We are so grateful to Cooper and his crew. Chris was not a general thinker in terms of adventure and conquer. He would go out on a ledge, literally. Cooper "listened", which led him to Chris in a matter of hours. Ending the torture of not knowing, that we had to endure for days. We knew exactly where Chris was going and how, because Chris told us. Cooper listened. He wasn't going through the park or on a trail. Chris was climbing up the side of the mountain to get to the top.We are grateful to everybody who risked their own lives and safety to help a grieving family find a missing loved one. I hope nobody ever has to go through this.


let's light a fire under baboons ass, and call him out publicly, and ask him why he fired SSAR after thirty years of trust and taxpayer savings!!!!!!!!

the gay mafia is got a choke hold(pun intended) on the good citizens of pinal county, what with all the cover ups and nonsense.


Condolences to Christopher Hensley's family and congratulations and thanks to Robert Cooper and everyone associated with SSAR for your amazing, selfless work. Once again, you've shown the pretenders how it's done.


KPHO (previous employer of Babeu's last two PIOs, Johnson and Ingersoll) is putting out in their news stories this evening that the body find was made by PCSO. Incorrect.

Re-read Alonzo's blog posted here.  Re-read her earlier one about Babeu dumping on SSAR.  Now maybe the loss of public safety can be appreciated a little more.  Babeu doesn't care.

At the same time PCSO and MCSO were unsuccessfully searching for Mr. Hensley, Sheriff Babeu was in Washington (yes, all week) chasing down microphones and cameras at the big anti-immigration fest (FAIR).  He told one talk show host there that he had two helicopters and an airplane.  Ha, Ha!  Such a bragging liar. He posted on Adam4Adam that he had seven inches.  Story teller, he is.

Meanwhile, a lot of the PCSO Search and Rescue lackeys sat around all week in lawn chairs and took turns getting helicopter rides.  We the taxpayers paid for their efforts.  Ask Babeu for a count of total man-hours (salaried and volunteer) expended since Monday.  As one local commented, Pinal S.O. needs another hobby.

Superstition Search and Rescue: Volunteers, professionals, and successful.  Go back and read Alonzo's earlier blog before you drool over a claimed success by Babeu's Comedy Team.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Seriously, StudBoi, how is it that "amateurs" who don't have the kind of resources that you have, you know, choppers, etc., yet they often have more success than your "professionals" in locating list hikers? Huh? Pauley?


PCSO's team did not find my husband after four days because they refused to listen to me. Chris DID tell his family where he was going but PCSO did what they wanted and did their "routine" which resulted in my husband laying at the bottom of a cliff for 4 days. Babeu should be ashamed of himself and embarrassed by his team. Babeus team needs to find another job and let Cooper take over! I WANT JUSTICE! This isn't right. Again, thank you cooper and your team


@PabloDroopus The wonder is that Babeu's guys didn't themselves get lost and have to call SSAR to rescue them.

KPHO needs to be more careful in its dealings with PCSO.


@eric.nelson745Those "amateurs" have been doing this a long time and know what they're doing, something old Baldy's group doesn't.

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