Kaitlin Anne Kenney, woman missing in Grand Canyon: Mom fears worst in daughter's disappearance

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The mother of a 21-year-old Englewood woman who disappeared Friday on a river trip through the Grand Canyon writes on Facebook that Kaitlin Anne Kenney is "with the angels."

Authorities, however, have only said that they are searching for Kenney.

A Grand Canyon National Park dispatcher told 7NEWS on Monday night they had no information to release on the search for Kenney.

"Please say a prayer for our family. Our sweet Kaitlin is with the angels," Linnea Kenney posted on her Facebook page Monday morning. "She was our balloon let loose in a room and lived life to it's fullest, always with a smile. We were blessed to have her in our lives."

Family friends responded with condolences.

"I'm so sorry, Linnea...I can't believe this. Sending much love to you and your family," one friend wrote.

Kenney was last seen Friday night at her group's camp at river mile 134.5, near Tapeats Creek, Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Shannan Marcak said. The private river trip reported her missing via a satellite phone on Saturday.

A relative told 7NEWS the family believes Kaitlin may have gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and fallen into the river or gotten lost.

It was below zero the night she disappeared and she did not have her coat or any survival gear for that type of weather, the relative said. Family members believe she may have become disoriented in the dark.

Kenney was rafting with friends and the party had camped on a sandbar by the river.

Park rangers searched by helicopter Sunday while teams on the ground searched along the Tapeats and Deer Creek drainages, Surprise Valley and along the Colorado River.

Kenney is a gifted fiddler who won the young adult competition at the 2011 Colorado Fiddle Championships and has placed several times in the Texas State Championship.

She attended Cherry Creek High School and the University of Montana.

Denice Carter began teaching Kaitlin violin at age five and continued with her as a student for 14 years as the young girl became and accomplished fiddler.

"Kaitlin has always been in everything to do with fiddling in Colorado," Carter told 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn.

Carter described Kaitlin as an adventurous girl who befriended everyone met.

"She loved everyone," the music teacher said. "She never had anything bad to say about anyone, ever. She has a huge network of friends in different circles."

Kaitlin embraced everything from music to the outdoors to Irish dancing.

"I just cherish that girl," Carter said. "I've seen her do a lot of things like that, you know... hiking and different adventures.  She's very adventurous."

Kenney is described as 5-feet 5-inches tall, weighing 125 pounds.  She has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a tan knee-length coat, hiking boots, rugged tan pants, a long-sleeved gray shirt, multi-colored scarf and black knit cap.

Authorities asked anyone who has seen Kenney since Friday to contact the Grand Canyon National Park tip line at 928-638-7767.

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