Aug 29, 2013 9:56 PM by Erika Flores

Park believes robbery/assault isolated incident at Chiricahua National Monument

WILLCOX - An attack on a national park service employee at the Chiricahua National Monument in Southeast Arizona landed the woman in a hospital.

The 60-year-old woman was found unconscious Wednesday afternoon inside a picnic area restroom.

She is at the University of Arizona Medical Center in critical but stable condition.

Karen Gonzales is a maintenance employee and park guide at the park.

Michelle Fidler with Coronado National Park Service tells News 4 Tucson that a park researcher found her during the middle of the day with a head injury.

"We weren't sure at the time whether she had fallen. We are investigating it as an Assault and robbery," said Fidler. "After she was airlifted out, we discovered that her vehicle was no longer in the park."

The Cochise County Sheriff's office later tracked down her truck in Douglas.

The FBI is assisting with the investigation.

James Reeves said he was at his mom's house when heard the helicopter airlift Gonzales to UAMC.

"Her house is probably two, three miles from the visitor center," he said.

He said he's concerned whoever did this to Gonzales could be back and wander onto his mom's property.

"There's times when she's by herself, and it worries me," said Reeves.

Fidler said she believes this is an isolated incident.

"Safety is our number one priority, and we continue to have our park service and border patrol agents patrolling in this area," said Fidler. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family."

If you know anything about this case, you're urged to contact the Cochise County Sheriff's office.


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