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Missing UM student part of 13 person rafting party

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Jan 17 2013 06:38:10 PM MST
kenney
MISSOULA, Mont. -

We have new information about the University of Montana student missing on the Colorado River since last Friday.

On Wednesday, searchers said they were scaling back their efforts after coming up empty handed.

Park rangers involved in the search say there were 13 people on the trip including several University of Montana students.

After Kenney went missing, the group was given the option to be air lifted out, but they chose to continue their trip.

Kenney disappeared near Tapeats Creek on the north side of the Colorado River in Arizona.

Her friends say they didn't hear her wake up Friday night, and in the morning, she was gone.

Kenney was a senior at UM studying American Indian cultures.

Kenney’s mom, Linnea Kenney, told our reporters in Colorado, where the Kenney’s are from, that she believes her daughter got up in the night to use the restroom and drowned in the river.

"She was always out there and willing to explore anything, and she just said mom, I want to do this river rafting trip down the Grand Canyon," said Kenney.

The rafting party is still on the river. Park rangers say they expect the group to get out at Diamond Creek, near Flagstaff, Arizona, on January 24th.

University of Montana Counseling Director Mike Frost said there are many resources available at the university for grieving students.

"We have individual counseling, as well as bereavement group counseling,” said Frost. “And people always have their friends and their family, which is the first and foremost place that you go when you're grieving."

For more information about counseling resources for UM students, click here.