Missing Person By Vernal Fall Footbridge

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The National Park Service in Yosemite is looking for anyone who may have seen or have information regarding Katrin Lehmann who was last seen below the Vernal Fall footbridge where she fell into the Merced River.

Ms. Lehman is 31 years old, 6 foot tall, 150 pounds with light brown hair and brown eyes. Lehman was last reported wearing a maroon rain jacket, dark blue pants, light green button-up shirt, hiking boots, blue backpack and dragonfly necklace.

If you have any information regarding Ms. Lehman you are asked to please contact the Yosemite Criminal Investigations Unit at (209)372-0614 or the Yosemite Communications Center, 24 hours per day, at (209)379-1992.

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10 commentsOn Missing Person By Vernal Fall Footbridge

  • I was in Yosemite when this happened. I hope to hear updates on the situation since everyone was talking about it and looking for her. She must have fallen right when the thunderstorm came through that afternoon. The trail was very wet anyway and then we got hail, thunder, lightning and heavy rain for about 2 hours.

  • Cheri, can you e-mail me? I am Katrin’s friend and am hungry for more info about the state of the park and trails that day, also about the falls. I would appreciate it, and would forward whatever you write to Katrin’s family in Germany. Thank you in advance. sue

  • Sue, I was there that day. My friend and I had just got on the shuttle at the trail head to Vernal Falls and a girl came up to the shuttle driver and said that her sister had fallen into the river. My friend and I gathered some information from the girl and a man that was with her, after reading the information on the web I assume that it was her Katrin’s brother and his girlfriend. Then we ran along the river to see if we could spot her. We did not see anything and we reported that back to some of the rescue workers.

    The conditions in the park that day were that it started out as a beautiful sunny day. Clouds started to gather and when we were on the mist trail it started to rain and hail about 1/2 inch in diameter.

    The river was flowing stronger than I have ever seen before. The current in that pert of the river was extremely strong.

    I hope this information helps.

  • this message is for Katrin’s sister and her boy/friend. my buddy and i were the guys you spoke with when you flagged down our bus on the bridge over the river. you had run down 1.5 km to come to that point. we ran downstream for about 2 km. the river was very strong, at white water rapid levels in parts. in a couple of places the river forked into two. we spoke to 2 female emergency workers who said they were looking but the river was just too swollen and fast. about an hour later we were at the parking lot 1, and the same ladies were standing at the river where it was calm looking fr Katrin. we feel very sorry for you and your families. when we met you, you were in shock. katrin is an exceptional student and person. my email is skyzeux @ yahoo . com

  • Sue like Doug said the water was very high that day everywhere in the valley. I just went through my photos today from my trip and the rivers were all very rough and fast moving. I did not make it up to Vernal Falls on this trip because I was warned the trail was very wet so we spent that day at Hetch Hetchy instead. As we came back to the Valley the clouds darkened up the sky. According to my photos the rain started to hit us hard at 3:40pm. The hail started a few minutes later and I think it lasted about an hour.

    I did not hear about what happened till that evening I heard a bus driver talking about Katrin. During the storm I prayed in my tent for folks hiking and climbing who got caught in the storm. I was concerned someone would get hurt.

    After the storm I walked into the meadows to take photos and i saw a firetruck on a bridge with firemen looking over the side. I had no idea at that point that they were looking for Katrin. I thought they were assessing the damage from a tree that had just fallen in the storm.

    I have not been able to find any updates online but I have been checking each day.

  • Hi… I was very shocked to hear about this as I spoke with Katrin for 15 or 20 minutes on the way down from the mountain just about an hour before this. I cannot imagine how she could have fallen in, but it was very stormy and hailing so maybe that is it. My condolences to the family.

  • I was in the park that day as well. We were hiking up the road from the mirror lake trail head when the storm began. This road follows a long side the river and we were watching it as we walked along. I was constantly watching the swirly storm come over half dome. Just as the storm came in to the valley it began to rain and hail. Most of the hail was pea size and some if the pieces were as large as a dime. We took cover under the Happy Isles bridge for about an hour. The river was very high and flowing very fast. We were under the bridge for about 20 minutes when we heard the sirens. They stopped just above us on top of the bridge. I went to see what was going on. I talked to a female who told me that some one had fallen in to the river. She said that it was her sister (in-law I now gather). The guy she was with and the girl I was talking to were giving more information to the park officials. The rescue team arrived and changed in to their swift water rescue gear. They set up along the river bank waiting to see if they could find Katrin. Several times that evening I checked with the Fire Capitan to see if there was an update. He was keeping watch on the river bridge near the pines campgrounds. He was stationed by the fire engine on the bridge and his crew was spread out down stream from there. They were out there until it got dark that evening. I was talking to a campground ranger the next day to see if there was any news. She told me that they had not found anything. She also told me that last year at this time a man fell in to the water in the same area. They did not find him for 2 weeks. My thoughts and prayers go out the all of Katrin’s family and friends. -Joshua

  • I was there as well and was coming down the mist trail at that time. I remember checking my phone at 3:19 and after the fact I remember hearing a loud yell. I have guessed it was her boyfriend or whomeever was with her at the time she fell. I just wanted let her family and friends know my thoughts and prayers are with them. I have not stopped thinking about what happened since then. I will keep checking back for updates.-Andrea

  • Thanks everyone for the information. I am a one of Katrin’s beach volleyball friends down here in San Diego, and this all helps paint a picture of what happened. Also another thank you to all of you who helped out in what ever way.


  • Thank you everyone for the information. I am one of Katrin’s tennis friends in San Diego and I was shocked and saddened to learn of this from my coach tonight. Katrin was a wonderful soul. She always helped me practice my german and had a sincere and warm demeanor. My condolences go out to her family and Stephan. You and Katrin are in my thoughts.


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