Las Vegas Police Retrieve Remains from Red Rock - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Police Retrieve Remains from Red Rock

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LAS VEGAS -- Metro officers scaled hundreds of feet down a canyon wall Friday to retrieve more of the skeletal remains found near Red Rock Conservation Area.

Metro police officers Adrian Crandall and James Rogan had just inches to spare as they navigated a sheer cliff face known by local mountain hikers as "Prince of Darkness."

"There's not much room for error up there. It's 6, 7, 800 feet up," said Officer Crandall who added that he doesn't get nervous. "We do this all the time. I've been doing this for 11 years. Just another day at the office."

Human remains were found by a hiker on the Black Velvet Canyon trail Thursday afternoon. It took until Friday morning for Metro Search and Rescue to recover the remains safely. The officers needed to rappel off the side of the cliff another 100 feet from the spot where the helicopter dropped them off.

Hikers tell 8 News NOW that the steep terrain can be difficult.

"Everybody out here hikes usually on the mountain bike trails and the horse trails. If you get off the trails without a compass and knowing where you're going, you'd be in trouble," said Don Beach who often hikes the area.

Police found parts of a spine, skull, ribs, and a variety of other bones along with some cloth. "What appears to be the clothes the person was wearing. The bones ended up being in the shirt and pants on their own," said Officer Crandall. 

Metro believes the remains belong to a hiker and given the location do not believe it is a homicide. It's too early to know the age or gender of the person.

"There's family, there's people wondering what exactly happened," said Sgt. Gavin Vesp, Metro.

"You always feel good when you can help somebody out or close a chapter in a book. There's definitely some family members out there," said Officer Crandall, Metro.

Metro says 2010 is no more or less busy for them than previous years. They've done around 150 hiker rescues and recoveries this year.

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