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Search for missing hiker may turn to drones, crowdsourcing

NPR reporter Jessica Robinson reports this morning that the search for missing hiker Jo Elliott-Blakeslee at Craters of the Moon – which was initially hampered by the federal government shutdown and now has stretched on unsuccessfully for more than three weeks – is turning to new tactics. The National Park Service is looking into getting an unmanned aerial drone to fly over the park and take photographs, then posting the photos online to “crowdsource” the hunt, by getting people to pore over the photos for clues to the woman’s whereabouts. “If they happen to see something, that might be that clue that we're looking for,” Craters Superintendent Dan Buckley told Robinson.

After weeks of effort, searchers on the ground are nearing the limits of what they can do in the jagged lava fields, Buckley said; the 63-year-old Elliott-Blakesless’s hiking partner, Amy Linkert, was found dead a few days after the two went missing on what apparently was intended to be just a day hike. You can read Robinson’s full report here on the NWNewsNetwork.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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