Experienced Hiker Goes Missing in Remote Section of Navajo Wilderness
Location: Navajo Reservation Wilderness
Date Missing: 04-01-2007
Current Status: Unresolved
Kirchner was last seen in Coconino County, Arizona in early April 2007. He worked as a physicist back in Germany and had visited the United States many times before. He was hiking a remote section of the Navajo Reservation. He’s an experienced hiker who was in good physical condition and hiked extensively in the Colorado Plateau area.
Kirchner failed to meet his girlfriend in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 9. The search for him began on April 12. That day his rented truck was found near the rim of the Little Colorado River Gorge, west of Tuba City, about two miles from Hell Hole Bend.
There are many sinkholes in the area which, especially at night, would be difficult to see and easy to fall into. The sinkholes were deemed too dangerous to search personally, although searchers did look in them with cameras. An extensive search, lasting six days and covering 56 square miles of territory, turned up no other sign of him.
Kirchner’s case remains unsolved; he is presumed to have gotten lost in the area.