Missing DSU instructor found in Arizona strip, dies in hospital

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After being lost and found, Dixie State University instructor Leroy Fitzell passed away Friday.

After Fitzell was flown to Dixie Regional Medical Center, a family friend Christopher Roberts said Fitzell was dealing with organ failure and other complications due to exposure. 

“[Fitzell] passed away surrounded by his family and the sweet singing from his dear wife a little before 3 p.m.,” Roberts said. “We all feel blessed to have known this kind hearted, talented, and wonderful man.”

Fitzell was a part-time instructor at DSU and was known for his dancing and acting career. St. George Police Department said Fitzell went missing Feb. 14 at 11:17 a.m. near Wal-Mart on Pioneer Road. He was driving a silver 1999 Mazda Protege. His car was found around noon Thursday in Littlefield, Arizona. Matt Fitzell, St. George resident and Leroy Fitzell’s son, said the Civil Air Patrol was dispatched to continue the search for him after discovering his car.

Jenny Fitzell, St. George resident and  Leroy Fitzell’s daughter-in-law, said he was found not too far away from his car, which was stuck in the mud near the Arizona Strip.

Other Facebook pages are sharing similar findings like the Westside Studio of the Performing Arts, which has been updating users about Leroy Fitzell since he went missing. 

St. George resident Caitlin Spears was one of many users wishing Leory Fitzell’s family well and speaking out about his character. 

“This man is a very neat, healthy and contributing member of this community,” Spears said. “He just danced in the Nutcracker this past December.”

Leroy Fitzell’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for his memorial service. Within less than 4 days, 35 people have donated $6,205 toward the $10,000 goal.