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Hiker from Idaho missing for nearly a week in Montana wilderness


RED LODGE, Montana — Search teams in Montana are looking for an experienced hiker from Idaho who last contacted family nearly a week ago.

Tatum “Tate” Morell, 23, planned to hike five peaks that were over 12,000 feet high in the Beartooth Mountains, according to a Red Lodge Fire Rescue Search and Rescue news release. Morell last contacted her mother on Thursday via a satellite communicator where she camped at the Shadow Lake area, which is near the Montana and Wyoming border.

“It is believed that she left her tent Friday and has not returned,” officials say.

Morell, an engineering graduate student at Montana State University-Bozeman, is originally from Idaho. Although this is her first trip to the Beartooth Mountains, search teams say she is an experienced hiker and recently went on a similar trip in Gallatin County.

On Wednesday, search teams plan to cover routes Morell may have used to climb the peaks in the West Fork of the Rock Creek Drainage. Dog teams are also searching the area near her camp at Shadow Lake.

Helicopters from the National Guard and Two Bear Air have been searching the area since Sunday using visual, infrared cameras, cell phone tracking and other methods.

Morell may have been wearing a red jacket and carrying a blue day pack. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone who may have seen Morell or has information about her plans is asked to contact the Carbon County Montana Sheriff’s Office at (406) 446-1234.

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