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Rescuers find body of Idaho hiker missing for weeks


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RED LODGE, Montana — Rescuers have recovered the body of an Idaho hiker missing in the Montana wilderness.

Climbers found Tatum Morell, 23, Saturday in an area below the Whitetail couloir. Morell was reported missing in early July after last having contact with her family on July 1. She was a planned trip to hike five peaks that were over 12,000 feet high in the Beartooth Mountains.

Recovery teams with Two Bear Air, Yellowstone County Sheriff, Carbon County Sheriff and Red Lodge Fire recovered Morell in the rugged area and brought her back to family at the Red Lodge Aiport, according to a Red Lodge Fire Rescue Facebook post.

RELATED | Hiker from Idaho missing for nearly a week in Montana wilderness

Morell was an engineering graduate student at Montana State University-Bozeman. The experienced hiker was originally from Ketchum.

Rescuers believe Tatum left her tent on July 2 and encountered a significant rockslide at Whitetail Peak that left her with fatal injuries. Officials say because the rockslide buried Tatum, it was difficult to find her. The area where she was found had been searched numerous times.

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“After almost two months of extensive search efforts, we are relieved that she is able to be returned to her family,” said Assistant Chief Jon Trapp with Red Lodge Fire Rescue. “The effort volunteers put into finding Tatum surpassed anything I’ve seen in my 17 years with Search and Rescue operations. It was absolutely incredible.”