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Rocky Point trip ends in tragedy for family of NAU professor

NAU forestry professor Yeon-Su Kim's (right) body has been identified, but her husband, Corey Allen, is still missing. (Photo/GoFundMe)

NAU forestry professor Yeon-Su Kim's (right) body has been identified, but her husband, Corey Allen, is still missing. (Photo/GoFundMe)

ROCKY POINT, Mexico — A professor at Northern Arizona University has been found dead, and her husband is missing after kayaking in high winds near Rocky Point, Mexico Nov. 24.

Search and rescue crews found the body of Yeon-Su Kim, an NAU forestry professor, Nov. 27 after an extensive search. A search continues to find Kim’s husband, Corey Allen.

The couple had gone kayaking with their teenage daughter when strong winds came up prompting Allen to take his daughter back to shore. He returned to the water to assist his wife, Kim. Neither returned and Allen is still missing.

“As many of you know, our dear colleague Yeon-Su Kim and her husband, Corey Allen, have been lost at sea since Thursday when they faced strong winds while kayaking off of Rocky Point Beach,” said Jose Cruz, president of Northern Arizona University in a statement. “This evening, after days of search and rescue efforts, the tragic passing of Yeon-Su was confirmed. The search for Corey continues.”

Cruz said Kim was an invaluable faculty member in the School of Forestry and esteemed academic leader who joined NAU in September 1998 and has served as the school’s executive director since July 2021.

“Her accomplishments and contributions to her academic discipline, our university’s mission, and the broader community were many, and—in consultation with her family and friends—we will find the appropriate time and place to celebrate her legacy of a life well-lived,” he said. “The first time I interacted with Yeon-Su, I walked away impressed by her love of NAU, passion for our mission, and devotion to advancing the well-being of our university’s community.”

Allen, is a real estate agent and the couple has two teenage children. Their daughter was with them at the time. The couple’s children are be cared for by extended family.

The family has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the search efforts.

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