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UArizona graduate student missing amid flooding at Zion National Park

Classmates are hoping for her safe return
Jatel Agnihotri
Posted at 5:12 AM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 08:12:07-04

TUCSON — Friends and classmates of missing University of Arizona graduate student Jatel Agnihotri are hopeful she is safe as her search continues at Zion National Park.

"She is very hardworking and a tough girl. I think she will fight that river," said classmate and University of Arizona graduate student, Yike Xu.

Authorities in Utah have been searching for Agnihotri at Zion National Park since Friday. She is reported to have split from two friends in an area of the park known as the "Narrows." Around the time she went missing, dangerous flash floods hit the area.

"We are working with partners from the Washington County Sheriff's Office as well as Hurricane Valley Fire. They are working in the park today, as well as members of the Zion Search and Rescue Team," said Jonathan Shafer with Zion National Park.

On Monday, dog handlers were brought in to help with the search.

"She was really excited for this semester. I just hope I'll be able to meet her in class again," said Xu.

Xu said she worked closely with Agnihotri last semester. According to the University of Arizona's website, Agnihotri is studying hydrology and atmospheric sciences.

"She has such a passion for science. She really loves hydrology. She is also into the world-changing climate issues," said Xu.