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The Globe and Mail

Toronto woman safe after being stuck in Arizona canyon for more than a day

A Toronto doctor is safe after spending more than a day stuck in an Arizona canyon.

Staff at the Junipine Resort in the Oak Creek Canyon area reported Dr. Elise Heon missing on Thursday after she didn't check out on time and was found to have left her wallet, cell phone and other belongings in her room.

A resort employee recalled Heon, who is the Chief Ophthalmologist at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital, inquiring about hiking trails in the area and a search operation was launched.

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Search crews received a report Friday morning that a woman had been heard calling for help from the Oak Creek Canyon.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office says crews were able to make verbal contact with 50-year-old Heon, who was stranded on a narrow ledge about 213 metres from the bottom of the canyon.

Police said she was alert and communicative.

By Friday evening crews managed to raise Heon up to the rim of the canyon using a mechanical winch before she was lifted by helicopter to a nearby area.

Heon waved for the cameras that had gathered as the chopper drew her out of the canyon using a harness.

Police say the quick response of officers, the early start of the search effort and the vigilance of citizens in the area were key to locating Heon quickly.

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