Flagstaff couple reportedly lost at sea in Mexico, one found dead – ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix

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FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Monday was Day 4 in the search for a Flagstaff man who remains lost at sea in Mexico. We’re told the hundreds of Mexican authorities and volunteers, who are taking part, are not giving up hope.
According to a GoFundMe page for the couple, Corey Allen and Yeon-Su Kim disappeared during a kayaking trip near Rocky Point on Thursday.
COORDINAN BÚSQUEDA
Protección Civil Sonora mantiene coordinación con la Secretaría de Marina y autoridades municipales en la búsqueda de dos personas de origen estadounidense desaparecidas en Puerto Peñasco, luego de un paseo en kayak. (1) pic.twitter.com/gvyfgPJDaS
On Sunday, a Mexican news publication called El Imparcial said the Secretary of the Navy to Civil Protection Sonora reported finding a body near Encanto Beach. The body is said to have features similar to one of the missing persons.
The body has since been identified by Allen’s sister as Kim, according to Coordination of Civil Protection and Fire Fighters of Puerto Penasco officials.
Kim was a faculty member in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. She served as the school’s executive director since July 2021, according to a statement from the university. The university’s full statement can be read below.
According to the GoFundMe, strong winds came up on the couple and their daughter Lux while they were kayaking. Allen reportedly took Lux to shore and then went back out to help Kim. Neither have been seen since.
Allen has still not been found.
Local authorities in Mexico say they are coordinating with the Navy and the Secretary of Public Security to search for the couple.
NAU released the following statement Sunday night following the announcement:
Friends of the family tell ABC15 the two were very involved in the Flagstaff community.
Laura Brown, a family friend, said their children grew up together in a charter school. Yeon-Su and Corey have two kids, ages 14 and 18.
“That’s the most difficult part because you know our kids grew up together. So, you know, there’s just a lot of emotion there when I think about both of them,” she said, getting a bit emotional.
Brown said the NAU community impacted heavily with the news of Yeon-Su passing. She says the couple is “down to earth” and super fun. They always would go to get-togethers as well as chaperone field trips with the kids in schools.
She says it’s a difficult time for those who knew the couple and the pain their kids are feeling.
“It’s kind of doubly hard because you’ve got you know that aspect of these two kids who are very young to even be losing one parent, let alone both of them at the same time,” she said.
“People from Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson – all came down here to help with the search. It’s just absolutely incredible to see the community and not just them, a lot of locals as well,” says Scott Scriver, search volunteer.
Scott Scriver lives in Surprise but also owns a property in Rocky Point. He and his wife drove down after hearing about the need for volunteers. The two went out on Sunday in an off-road vehicle, along with others searching in planes and boats.
“A lot of the areas that we searched were estuaries, where a lot of the current comes into. So, it was very rough terrain, unfortunately. A lot of things you don’t want to see,” says Scriver.
Volunteers say they faced several false alarms Monday, with Allen still not found. When it comes to the sea, we’re told the tides are large and the winds are very deceiving.
“It may look flat for a mile out, and it looks great, but once you get beyond that it could be treacherous out there… depending on the winds,” says Scriver.
That is taken into consideration during the daily planning for search efforts.
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