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Fri, Feb. 28

Hiker killed in 150-foot fall

SEDONA - A 21-year-old man was killed Tuesday evening when he became stranded on a rock ledge and fell from it, said a Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman.

Mahdi Harrizi from Brooklyn, N.Y., was hiking Tuesday afternoon when he became stuck on the ledge, according to YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn.

He called his mother, who was at a Sedona resort, from his cellphone, and told her that he couldn't go forward or back and needed help. She called the Sheriff's Office at 4 p.m. and, D'Evelyn said, units began to arrive and set up a command post within 15 minutes.

D'Evelyn said it is unclear precisely when, but at some point Harrizi fell from the ledge and down about 150 feet, landing between a cliff face and bushes. He died from his injuries.

YCSO searchers were never able to reach him on his cellphone, leading them to believe he fell shortly after calling for help.

A DPS Ranger helicopter searched Tuesday night, as did a Guidance helicopter. Neither found anything, despite using infrared heat-sensing equipment.

On Wednesday, the Ranger was back on the scene and the aircrew spotted Harrizi's body. Sheriff's search crews recovered it by early afternoon.

D'Evelyn said he was wearing dark clothing which, combined with the tight space into which he had fallen, made it difficult to find Harrizi.

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