There has been a lot of negative press around amateur drone operators interfering with airborne firefighting and helicopter search and rescue missions in the recent past but this weekend one of those drone operators found the body of a missing 17 year old hiker that became separated from his family in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah in mere minutes after the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter had to take a break to refuel.

According to , Kris Krie was hiking up for a night of camping with friends when he came across the search and rescue party looking for James Wade in the Lisa Falls area in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  He offered to help search the area with his DJI Phantom 4 quadcopter drone, which has a 2.5 mile range and provides real time imaging as it flies. Authorities finally decided to accept his offer once their helicopter had gone refuel.

“They briefed me on where they suspected he was. Because the family was with him prior to them separating, they knew where he was going.”

After getting instructions to the general search vicinity, Krie found the missing body in 3 minutes, all the while providing real time imaging to the authorities which allowed for quick assessment of the area before they traveled in themselves.

Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent the boy had not survived his fall down the steep cliff. Krie was glad to lend a helping hand but was upset with the findings:

“It is tough, I feel bad for the family that is now going through the grieving process. That’s not what I’d wish upon anybody.” 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the boys family and want to commend Kris Krie was offering his help and quickly concluding the search.

To read the entire article go HERE