Teen foreign exchange student, host family member fall, die in Provo Canyon

Posted at 6:36 AM, Oct 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 00:22:37-04

UTAH COUNTY -- A Chinese foreign exchange student and his host family member were found dead after both falling on the Bridal Veil Falls trail in Provo Canyon, authorities confirmed Sunday morning.

The Utah County Sheriff's Office was initially dispatched to the base of the falls at about 6:45 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived on scene, 14-year-old Kedi Chen's body was discovered at the east end of the base of the falls.

Kedi had been hiking with 28-year-old Brandon I. Reas, of Springville, who was hosting the teen while he participated in a short-term exchange program, which was only to last a few days.

Kedi, who was living in Nara, Japan, had arrived to Utah for the program on Saturday.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon, spokesman with the sheriff's office, said Reas' body was found Sunday morning. Rescuers located his body on the west end of the first level of the falls.

Cannon said both victims fell about 150 feet.

Cannon said the Bridal Veil Falls trail is popular and heavily trafficked from the base. If hikers pursue the higher falls, Cannon said the trail gets technical and officials suggest using gear, such as rope, a harness and other equipment.

It is unknown who fell first, but Cannon said Reas and Kedi fell independent of each other.

A fundraising page has been set up for the Reas family.