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Crews recover body of missing Idaho hiker

Tatum Morell’s body was found buried under rocks
Tatum Morell, 23, was found deceased after crews believe she died in a rock slide.
Tatum Morell, 23, was found deceased after crews believe she died in a rock slide.(Red Lodge Fire & Rescue)
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 12:01 AM MDT
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RED LODGE, Montana (KMVT/KSVT) — The search for missing Idaho hiker Tatum Morell has come to a tragic end. Morell’s body was discovered by climbers on Saturday, August 21 in the rugged Beartooth Mountains.

Tatum Morell, a graduate of Wood River High School died after sustaining injuries while climbing.
Tatum Morell, a graduate of Wood River High School died after sustaining injuries while climbing.(Red Lodge Fire & Rescue)

The Morell family and Red Lodge Fire Rescue personnel met with the recovery teams at the Red Lodge Airport.

Officials say Two Bear Air and the Yellowstone County Sheriff helicopter worked together with Red Lodge Fire Rescue and the Carbon County Sheriff’s office to recover her body from below the Whitetail couloir.

Rescuers believe that Morell was climbing Whitetail Peak when she was caught in a significant rock slide and died. She was difficult to find, since she was buried under rocks.

“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.”

Morell was an avid and experienced hiker who planned to climb five mountain peaks over 12000′ in the West Fork of Rock Creek near Red Lodge Montana.

She backpacked into the area, camped at Shadow Lake on Thursday, July 1st, and contacted her family via an InReach satellite communicator that evening.

They believed she left her tent Friday, July 2nd.

The 23-year-old was a graduate student at Montana State University. Morell graduated from Wood River High School in Hailey.

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