Missing Hiker in Montana Likely Did Not Survive, Search Scaled Back
RED LODGE, Montana (KLIX)-The search for a missing young woman originally from Idaho has been scaled back as authorities believe she did not survive a tragic accident while hiking in south western Montana.
According the Red Lodge Fire Rescue, Carbon County Sheriff and the family of missing woman Tatum Morell, rescuers believe that she did not survive on a hiking trip that began around the first of the month. Searchers spent a week looking for Morell in the Beartooth Mountains beginning July 5, when she did not contact family in the Wood River Valley in Idaho. Rescuers determined the young woman had set out on July 2, to trek a 12,000 foot peak, but did not return to her campsite. She had last contacted family on July 1, using a satellite communication device.
Red Lodge Fire Rescue said Morell was an avid and experienced hiker. Officials said the area they looked in had countless rock fields, large boulders, scree fields, and snowfields, “Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of places that Tate could have gotten into trouble on these rugged mountains when the storms came into the area on Friday”, said Incident commander Tom Kuntz in a prepared statement. “After the extensive search efforts, we do not believe she survived”
The family said they found some solace knowing she died in an area she loved and added that Morell was a fiercely independent and adventurous person. The search for her will continue, but on a limited basis. Trained rescuers will continue looking with help from search dog teams in specific areas on a periodic basis. A large amount of groups and agencies assisted in the search for Morell. The family has asked anyone wanting to help in search efforts to make a donation to the Red Lodge Fire Rescue.