A Sudden Need For A Break
“Morgan Elias Heimer was born in Cody, Wyoming, and spent his childhood and early adult years exploring the open wilderness, and falling in love with nature. He attended the University of Wyoming, studying English, but as an experienced outdoorsman and amazing swimmer, Morgan set his career sights on becoming a river guide.
On June 2, 2015, Morgan was working for Tour West, a commercial rafting company, and he was a guide for an eight-day rafting trip along the Colorado River, in the Grand Canyon. He had successfully taken the group along for 6 days of the trip, when they approached Pumpkin Spring, at mile marker 213. Pumpkin Spring is a unique and beautiful orange rock formation jutting out of the canyon wall, on the floor of the canyon, that is shaped like a pumpkin with rounded walls and vertical streaks down the side of it. The water held within the formation is warm, but it is certainly not advised to swim within the waters as there are high levels of arsenic, lead, zinc, copper, and other metals.
Around 4 pm, the group had successfully taken a side stream near Pumpkin Spring, and were beginning to walk their boats back to the banks of the water. While standing near a cliff, Morgan spoke with the lead rafting guide and mentioned something about taking some time off that afternoon. The lead guide was pulled away by a client during this conversation and walked away from the cliff to speak with them. When the guide looked back in the direction that Morgan was standing, he was gone. The guide assumed that Morgan had taken a break, or went through with taking the afternoon off, and assumed he would be back. Morgan was never seen again. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored Astral personal flotation device, a blue plaid long sleeve shirt, a pair of Chaco flip-flop sandals, a maroon baseball cap, brightly colored shorts, and carrying a purple water bottle.
During the afternoon and into the evening, the group swam in the river and ate dinner, but Morgan never showed up for either activity. A concerned member of the group then reported Morgan missing at 7:26 pm on the same day. Park rangers and search and rescue teams thoroughly searched the river and surrounding areas between mile markers 211-215. Once nothing was found, they extended the search to Diamond Creek, twelve miles west of Pumpkin Spring. Employees of Tour West, as well as members of the rafting group, and other river guides and their groups were interviewed, but nothing about Morgan’s disappearance was uncovered. The search lasted for six days before it was assumed that Morgan must have drowned. His body has never turned up, and there was no trace that he was still alive after June 2, 2015.
This case seems cut and dry, but in a way, it doesn’t. It seems reasonable to assume that Morgan never made it out of the Grand Canyon, but the answers to why or how remain unknown. It’s easy to assume that this was a case of misadventure- wild rapids, large cliff drop-offs, toxic waters, and wildlife are factors to why someone could disappear in the Grand Canyon. It was stated by investigators that they believed that Morgan had the skill and experience to stay alive if he was lost out there, and they completely expected to find him if he had.
Another theory that is possible to come to is that perhaps Morgan took his own life. Without knowing a thing about his mental health, or what his life was like, I wouldn’t want to immediately jump to this conclusion but, you truly never know what someone is dealing with deep down, and him needing to take a sudden and immediate break from his work could lead one to think he may have been struggling with something that felt like a priority to him. I would be curious to know how Morgan was behaving on this trip- whether he seemed lighthearted and happy to be there, or if had been withdrawn and preoccupied with something. But, even if he has been lighthearted and happy, that still doesn’t rule out this possibility- as many seem happy and peaceful before taking their own life.
What do you think happened to Morgan, on the banks of the Colorado River? Do you think he was a victim of misadventure, being lost in the canyon or the river? Or do you think he walked away from the tour that day, intending to end his life?
If alive, Morgan would be 29 years old. He is described, last seen, as a white male, standing at 6’0” and weighing 175 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, and a tattoo of a cross on his leg.”