Breaking News
More () »

Woman dies after falling off cliff in Yavapai County

The 44-year-old woman's friend told authorities she had fallen off a cliff and was no longer visible.

YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. — Jennifer Petri was a wife, a mother of four, and a friend to many.

Residents in her Camp Verde hometown knew her from Denny’s, where she worked as a server for 15 years.

“She was everyone’s friend,” said Danae Wolf. “She had so much compassion for people and empathy. And it’s really something I looked up to.”

Wolf considered Petri a second mother, being there for the ups and downs of life, she said.

“She was going to go for a walk, and I gave her a hug goodbye,” Wolf said. “I wish I would have hugged her a little tighter.”

Wolf now holding on tight to that last memory.

On Monday, the beloved server died after falling about 20 feet from a cliff above West Clear Creek, said the Yavapai Sheriff’s Office.

The 44-year-old was in an area known as “The Bluffs,” when authorities said a friend who was with Petri, called 911 and reported the fall and said she “was no longer visible.”

A search team spotted Petri at the base of a cliff just above the water’s edge. A helicopter transported a trooper to the area to rescue Petri before determining she was already dead, YCSO said.

Her body was airlifted out of the canyon. YCSO is investigating how she fell.

“It was a shock. I don’t think anyone wants to believe it,” said Wolf. “It was hard to believe.”

Petri loved the outdoors, usually spending Sundays with her family at the creek.

Wolf said Petri knew the area where she fell, having been there several times before.

“Jennifer, she’s goofy, she’s funny and adventurous. Had the most contagious smile,” Wolf said.

The tragedy came two days before one of Petri’s sons turned 15 years old.

“I want her to be remembered for her compassion and the amazing mother that she was,” said Wolf. “She was the glue that held her family together.”

Jennifer Petri’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses, you can help donate here.

If you want to help with funeral expenses, you can donate to the family's GoFundMe page.

Up to Speed

More ways to get 12News

On your phone: Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.

On your streaming device: Download 12News+ to your streaming device

The free 12News+ app from 12News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

We are committed to serving all of the Valley's communities, because we live here, too.

12News is the Official Home of the Arizona Cardinals and the proud recipient of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Emmy Award for Overall Excellence.

12News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona.

On social media: Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Before You Leave, Check This Out