On May 11 around 1 p.m. Matthew Rios Vidalon’s body was found with the help of a drone in Henry’s Fork a mile down the river from Fun Farm Bridge.
On May 6, Rios Vidalon and two friends went bridge jumping off Fun Farm Bridge. After a jump, two of the friends made it safely to shore, but Rios Vidalon was swept away in the current.
“He did not die on impact,” said Sheriff Len Humphries with the Fremont County Police Department. “Witnesses on the scene saw him climb up on the diversion dam and then he tried to walk across the diversion dam and was swept into the water downstream.”
Authorities and volunteers, including Madison County Idaho Search and Rescue, worked every day to find Rios Vidalon.
Many efforts were made to find Rios Vidalon’s body, including working with irrigation systems to lower water levels. The community came together to look for this student.
Rios Vidalon had just started his first semester at BYU-I and was studying business management. He served a mission in the Peru Arequipa Mission.
In an effort to keep people safe and prevent similar situations, Humphries emphasized that people should not be swimming in Fremont County rivers in May.
“The water is very cold, and while it may be nice temperature-wise 70 degrees, that water is frigid. It’s very dangerous, and it’s high water,” Humphries stressed. “Never jump into a raging river.”
In an email to Scroll, KaraDawn Crane, the Dean of Students Office Assistant, said “Please keep his family and those close to Matthew in your prayers.”
There are no details yet for his memorial service. William Riggins, BYU-I’s Inclusion Officer, has been working with Rios Vidalon’s family from Peru to help them through this time.