Body Of Missing Hiker Recovered Near Red Lodge
The body of missing hiker Tatum Morell was found this weekend on Whitetail Peak near Red Lodge. Morell, an experienced hiker, had not been heard from since July 1st. Searching started July 5th and was unsuccessful until climbers found her body on Whitetail Peak, where she apparently had been caught by a large slide and was mostly buried under rocks. Her body was brought out of the area by Two Bear Air and the Yellowstone County Sheriff helicopter.
Morell had planned to climb five 12,000-foot mountain peaks in the West Fork of Rock Creek, according to Amy Hyfield, Red Lodge Fire Rescue Public Information Officer. That included Silver Run, Whitetail, Sundance, Bowback and Castle mountains. She said the area where Morell was found on August 21st had been searched several times, but the size of the rock slide had mostly covered her body, making it difficult to find.
The size of the search area and the difficulty of the terrain made searching extremely dangerous to rescuers, Hyfield reported. Assistant Chief Jon Trapp of Red Lodge Fire Rescue said in a news release, "After almost two months of extensive search efforts, we are relieved that she is able to be returned to her family. 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."
The recovery teams were met by Tatum's family at the Red Lodge Airport. The family, along with Red Lodge Fire Rescue and Carbon County Sheriff, thanked all the agencies and volunteers who helped in the two-month-long search.