Two men were found dead at Lou’s Spring in The Maze of Canyonlands National Park on Saturday, April 6.
Both Aarron Olvera, 40 and his father Dennis Olvera, 65 were found with single bullet wounds to their heads from a semi-automatic handgun.
Aarron Olvera was from Arizona. His father Dennis Olvera was from Indiana.
Investigators from the Garfield Sheriff’s Office have not been able to determine whether the men were dead from a murder-suicide or double-suicide.
“That part of the investigation is ongoing. We may or may not know what actually happened,” said sheriff’s deputy Raymond Gardner.
The Olveras were on a five-day hike in the remote area of The Maze. Dennis Olvera’s spouse contacted Canyonlands National Park when she became concerned that they were overdue to return from the hike.
National Park Service rangers found the Olveras’ truck at the Flint Trail trailhead. Upon hiking they discovered the Olveras’ bodies at Lou’s Springs.
“They had been deceased two or three days when the National Park Service found them,” Gardner said.
The two men had adequate water and food.
“They appeared to be well-equipped to go on an extended camping trip,” Gardner said. “The medical examiner did not find probable reason that would suggest either were in any extreme physical distress at the time of death that would suggest why it was a suicide, if that is what it was.”
Paul Henderson, assistant supervisor of the Southeastern Utah Group of National Parks, said that two rangers discovered the men and then subsequently a couple of other rangers were flown in.
“In the decade or so I’ve been here, there has been a handful of suicides,” Henderson said. “Parks are one of those places that people associate with good memories. People come to parks to commit suicides. It’s not an everyday occurrence, but there has been a handful over the years.”