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Utah cave to entomb spelunker

December 2 2009 at 8:27 PM
Ken Akerman  (Login KenAkerman)

Response to Tragic ending: Stranded explorer dies in Utah County cave


The cave that claimed the life of John Jones will also be his tomb.

Nutty Putty Cave will be sealed permanently with the 26-year-old medical student's body inside, a decision supported by his family and rescue officials, who said retrieving him is too great a risk to rescuers. They also cited a desire to protect the safety of future cavers.

"The cave will serve as the final resting place for John Edward Jones," said Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. The Jones family will place a permanent memorial at the cave's entrance.

"It will be, as they describe it, a sacred place for them and for a lot of other people," he said.

Officials considered closing only the part of the cave where Jones rests, but as Kim Christy, assistant director at the state School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), said, "We decided it probably wasn't appropriate to have recreational activities going on in the same area that has a final resting place."

Jones died late Wednesday after becoming stuck in an unmapped finger of the cave near the end of the main passageway, about 100 feet below the surface and 400 feet from the entrance, not near "Bob's Push" as previously reported.

Click here to read the article from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Click here to read the article from the Arizona Republic.

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