Remains of Missing MSU Hiker Found in the Beartooth Mountains Sunday
After an extensive search lasting nearly two months, the body of a missing Montana State grad student and hiker has been recovered.
Tatum Morell, 23, went missing in early July after embarking on a hike in the Beartooth Mountains. A group of hikers in the White Trail Peak area noticed hiking gear on the trail, and reported the find to authorities on Saturday. Morell's body was recovered on Sunday, with Red Lodge Fire Rescue's Facebook page announcing the recovery, stating, "Rescuers believe that Tatum was climbing Whitetail Peak when she was caught in a significant rock slide and suffered fatal injuries."
Rescue Teams Had Scaled Back Search in Mid-July
Search and rescue efforts for Morell were started on July 5th, however, the teams were unable to locate her, resorting to using dogs and helicopters to aid in the effort. On July 10th, teams scaled back the search, presuming Morell had died.
This hiking trip was Morell's first trip to the Beartooth Mountains. Her last known contact was on July 1st, after making a satellite call to her mother. Attempts to track down the satellite phone and cell phone were unsuccessful, however.
The Dangers of Hiking
According to a journal published by the US National Library of Medicine, studies have previously shown that 4 out of every 100,000 hikers perish on the trail, with about 50% of those fatalities caused by falls. Satellite phones, like the one Morell brought, can help provide extra security for hikers, and some even contain GPS navigation if you ever get lost on the trail.
Other hiking tips include drinking adequate water, carrying first aid at all times, and researching the hiking trail and topography before embarking.