Hiking News

Man missing from A.B. Young Trail in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona


Axel Brugere, 20, was last seen in Oak Creek Canyon on Friday morning.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Teams are searching for a hiker who went missing in Oak Creek Canyon over Memorial Day weekend.

Axel Brugere, 20, was last seen wearing red shorts while hiking with a friend along the A.B. Young Trail near the Bootlegger Day Use Area in Oak Creek Canyon at 11 a.m. Friday, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to a news release from sheriff’s, Brugere is a white male who is 5 feet, 9 inches, weighs 140 pounds, and has green eyes and brown hair.

Brugere and his friend, John Piekartz, reached the top around 1 p.m. before taking a break. According to the statement, Piekarz went exploring in the area at the top of the trail while Brugere stayed. Upon returning, Piekarz didn’t find Brugere and assumed he had began returning to the base of the trail.

Axel Brugere's tattoo.

Piekarz got lost on his way back, but eventually made it back to the Bootlegger Day Use Area around 11 p.m., but Brugere was not at the car, the statement reads. Without a phone or keys, Piekarz stayed overnight in a restroom nearby before getting a ride home in the morning, according to the statement.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue teams began searching for Brugere at around 9 a.m. Saturday. According to the sheriff’s office, an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter was used on Saturday and Sunday to help with the search.


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