Body of 25-year-old who fell off cliff at Palouse Falls found - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Body of 25-year-old who fell off cliff at Palouse Falls found

Posted: Updated:

5-30-17 UPDATE:

FRANKLIN COUNTY, WA - The body of missing 25-year-old Cade Prophet of Spokane was located. 

Crews recovered Prophet's body after he fell over Palouse Falls around 2:30 p.m. on Memorial Day. Columbia Basin Dive Rescue, Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies, and other local agencies began the recovery efforts around 9:30 this morning, after calling off the search when it got dark last night.

Crews set up on top of the canyon where he fell from, and divers took turns going down into the water.

"The area down here can be risky," said Capt. Rick Rochleau with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. "Even for prepared divers, it can be risky."

 Because of the dangers, authorities urge people who visit Palouse Falls to be safe around the cliffs, and not to get too close to the edges.

NBC Right Now looked into some recent history at Palouse Falls State Park, and specifically the question about the lack of fencing around the more dangerous areas of the park.

Late in December of 2015, park officials at Palouse Falls put up temporary fencing, blocking the popular but dangerous trails people and animals often used. But by April of last year, by popular demand the fences were gone, with visitors complaining that the fencing prevented them from accessing too much of the park.

The danger is ever-present, and the first responders to these incidents want to make sure visitors are aware of it.

"I can't tell them they can't be here, it's a park," said Capt. Rochleau. "But these cliffs are dangerous and it's not the first time we've been out here."

With no fencing, the only protection between you and the edge of the cliff are some warning signs scattered around the park, but that doesn't deter curious visitors wanting to get a thrill or that once-in-a-lifetime photo.

And first responders say the beauty of the park is what gets curious visitors into trouble at Palouse Falls.

"It's beautiful, but it can be treacherous," Capt. Rochleau said.

Increased fencing or not, first responders yesterday told Rex that visitors to Palouse Falls need to use more caution when using the park's various hiking trails.

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5-30-17 UPDATE:

FRANKLIN COUNTY, WA - Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies, Columbia Basin Dive Rescue and multiple other law agencies are continuing their search for a man who fell off a cliff at Palouse Falls State Park Monday afternoon. A 25-year-old man from the Spokane area was with his girlfriend trying to take a selfie when he fell off the cliff upriver from the falls.

We will have the latest on the search and what safety improvements need to be done coming up tonight on our 5/6 pm newscasts.

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5-29-17 ORIGINAL STORY:

FRANKLIN COUNTY, WA - Dive Rescue and search and rescue crews are looking for a man who fell over a cliff at Palouse Falls State Park.

Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies say the 25-year-old man from the Spokane area was trying to take a selfie with his girlfriend when he fell above the falls off of the back side of the cliffs. It happened around 2:30 this afternoon and the man hasn't been seen since.

Dive Rescue crews are assessing the safety of the water before crews enter the water to search for the man. Crews also told NBC Right Now that they believe this is now a recovery operation.

This is a developing story.

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