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A body recovered this week from a Norwegian waterfall is believed to be that of missing Utah defense attorney Kent Hart.

Hart, 50, slipped and fell into the 820-foot Hivjufossen waterfall in Hallingdal, Norway, on July 24 while hiking with his sons. Norwegian authorities have said Hart likely could not have survived the fall.

On Wednesday, a story on the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. site — NRK — said authorities located a body in the search area about 3:30 p.m. and removed it by helicopter.

Kathryn Nester, the federal public defender for the District of Utah, confirmed Thursday that a body had been located and authorities believe it is Hart's. There has been no official confirmation, however.

"[It's] such a loss for the legal defense community, his family and his colleagues here at the Federal Public Defender's office," she wrote in an email.

NRK also quoted a regional sheriff, Paul Mikkelnud, who said the body was found in a pool in an upper area of the falls.

"We are pleased we can now close the case and we made a discovery," Mikkelnud told NRK.

The sheriff also told NRK that search efforts had been hampered during the past two weeks by high water levels. The water had dropped Wednesday, allowing the body to be recovered, Mikkelnud said.

Hart was the only person reported missing in that area, according to the Norwegian news source.

The Salt Lake Tribune used an online service to translate the story from Norwegian to English.

Hart, executive director of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, was vacationing in Norway with his new wife, Giovanna, and his two sons, one of whom was about to begin school there.

Hart, who graduated from the University of Utah's S. J. Quinney College of Law, spent most of his career as a public defender and appeals attorney. He was a specialist in death penalty cases and had championed numerous reforms in the criminal-justice system, including a repeal of capital punishment and better standards for the use of body cameras and forcible entry by police.

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