Body of hiker missing since early July found buried under rocks

Hikers have found the body of a woman who had been missing in the Beartooth Mountains in southern Montana since early July, Carbon County officials said. 

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Tatum Morell Carbon County Sheriff’s Office

Rescuers believe Tatum Morrel, 23, was climbing Whitetail Peak on July 2 when she was caught in a significant rock slide and suffered fatal injuries.

The area where her body was found on Saturday had been searched numerous times by rescue crews. However, she was mostly buried under rocks and was difficult to see, officials said.

“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.

Rescuers have recovered the body of missing hiker Tatum Morell. Tatum was discovered by climbers on Saturday, August…

Posted by Red Lodge Fire Rescue on Sunday, August 22, 2021

Morell was an experienced hiker and climber who planned to climb five mountain peaks near Red Lodge, just north of Yellowstone National Park.

Morell, a graduate student at Montana State University, set up camp on July 1 and contacted her mother in Ketchum, Idaho that evening using a satellite communication device. It is believed she left her tent the next day and did not return. The search began on July 5.

Multiple search and rescue and law enforcement agencies, dog teams, helicopters, ground search teams and other means were used to try and locate Morell in the rugged, rocky terrain of the Beartooth Mountains, CBS affiliate KTVQ reported.

“Finding her, especially buried in that rockslide answered a lot of questions as to why our ground crews could find her, why helicopters couldn’t find her, and even why search dogs couldn’t find her. That helps us a lot with putting the pieces of the puzzle together,” Trapp told the station.

Helicopter crews helped recover her body from the mountains.