An 18-year-old girl died after falling from a cliff at a well-known state park in southeast Missouri over the weekend.
Mariah Brielle “Elle” Schramm was with her friends enjoying the waters of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park in Reynolds County when she climbed to the top of a rock and then slipped and fell 50 to 60 feet into the Black River around 3 p.m. on Saturday,
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
She hit her head on a rock shelf that was somewhat below the water surface level and apparently died of a head injury.
Schramm, from Kansas City, “seemed to indicate she was hesitant,” witnesses told park rangers.
“She ended up losing her footing and slipping and hitting the rocks on the way down,” Col. Tom Dresner, chief ranger said.
Dresner noted that there are no trespassing signs posted in that area but people often disregard them and head up to the cliffs to jump into the river, adding that the rangers give tickets for trespassing.
However, he explained that they were not patrolling the specific area where the teenager died at the time, but were patrolling other areas.
“They do regular enforcement and write tickets if people are climbing on the rocks in restricted areas,” Dresner said. “These rangers are there watching to make sure people are following the rules and staying safe.
“The men and women of Missouri State Parks are deeply saddened by this families’ loss. We extend our sincerest condolences.”
“The park covers 9,400 acres and is regularly patrolled by up to three Missouri State Parks rangers, though not always at the same time,” Brian Quinn of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources said.
“While there were no park rangers policing the bluffs when Schramm died, there were rangers on duty at other areas of the park.”