Mary Sloan - Strange disappearances on U.S. mountains

Mary Sloan, disappeared September 3rd 2015, Mount Graham, Arizona

Mary Sloan Mount Graham disappearance

53-year-old Mary Sloan, went on a group trip to Mount Graham in Arizona on September 3, 2015.  The eight of them pitched camp off of a Forest Service access road, not at an established campground and Mary was last seen at around 8.30pm when several of the group left to go to sleep. The site was about a quarter-mile from Grandview Peak Road and about two miles from Riggs Lake and was situated close to a steep cliff. The area is isolated and some way up a curving mountain road.

Mount Graham map

Mary was still dealing with the loss of her husband who passed a few months before the trip.

The next morning Mary was not in her tent and her cell phone, purse and bag were left at the campsite. It appeared that she had not slept in her tent. She had vanished.

A ground search began on September 4th and Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter crews were dispatched on September 6th. Search and rescue personnel from Maricopa, Cochise and Pima counties continued the search along the mountains and cliffs on September 8th. 

Mount Graham grand view peak road

Graham County Search and Rescue Coordinator Lt. Jerry Nelson said rescue teams from multiple agencies combed the area the best they could but could not come up with any evidence of her whereabouts. Cadaver dogs from Maricopa County were used and one appeared to have a hit in the area near the cliff that was the original base of the search. Mountain rappelling teams were called back in and one of the cadaver dogs was also roped down the side of the cliff in an effort to locate Sloan. The cliff area was at about 9,400 feet and dropped down through some catch areas to the base of the mountain at about 3,000 feet.

But, Mary was never found. She had disapapeared off the face of the earth.

What happened on that day in September 2015? The area of the campsite was very isolated so it seems unlikely she was abducted. Did she go to the bathroom or to check out a vista, stumbled and fell off the nearby cliff? Did she intentionally disappear after the loss of her husband? Why did they pitch camp off a service not, not at an established campsite?