End of Watch: August 9, 1948
On Sunday, August 8, 1948, Guy Rockefeller, Jr. and six of his friends were hiking in Sabino Canyon. Guy became stranded on a narrow ledge about five hundred feet above Sabino Creek. One of his friends hiked five miles to the ranger station for help. The Sheriff’s Department was notified and Deputy John Anderson, Chief Criminal Investigator, went to the scene with ropes and other equipment. By that time, it was dark and the rescue had to be postponed until morning. At daybreak, Deputy Anderson, along with several deputies and forest rangers, hiked to a point at the top of the cliff above Mr. Rockefeller. Deputy Anderson tied a rope around his waist and was lowered 450 feet to Mr. Rockefeller’s location. Once on the ledge, Deputy Anderson tied the rope around the waist of the boy and signaled for Guy to be hoisted upward to safety. As Deputy Anderson started his own climb to the top of the cliff, he lost his grip and fell nine hundred feet into a pool of water in the creek bed. Deputy Anderson’s body lay wedged between two boulders for eight hours before being recovered.
Young Guy Rockefeller was found to be tired, but otherwise in good health. Deputy John Anderson, age thirty-three, was survived by his wife, Suzanne, his parents, and two brothers.
© 2016 Pima County Sheriff's Department