Missing Idaho hiker's body found at Craters of the Moon national park

Posted By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |   Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:47 PM

(UPI) -- Search crews have finally found the body of Idaho hiker Dr. Jodean “Jo” Elliott-Blakeslee, who went missing less than a week before the government shutdown temporarily hindered rescue operations.

Rescue workers aboard a helicopter found Elliot-Blakeslee's body about a mile from where they found the body of her hiking partner, Amy Linkert, 69, at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve late last month.

Officials have yet to determine an official cause of death for Elliot-Blakeslee, though Linkert died from exposure.

The pair went missing on September 24, but the October 1 government shutdown made it difficult for park employees to continue to access federal equipment and resources.

All but three of the Craters of the Moon National Monument's 19 employees were furloughed, though the park received special permission to retain 10 workers to carry on with the search.

"It's pretty much just park staff that are continuing the search," Ted Stout, chief of interpretation and education at Craters, told KBOI earlier this month. "But we're also faced with the government shutdown -- we've been busy with that."

“We hope that this will bring closure to her family, friends and all those who have been involved in the search," Park Superintendent Dan Buckley said of the discovery of her body. "We join the family in thanking the searchers and local communities for the tremendous outpouring of support that we have received throughout this intense effort."

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