GRANGEVILLE – The search for Connie Johnson, a 76-year-old Nezperce woman who was last seen at her hunting camp Oct. 2, effectively is over, Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings said Tuesday.
“There’s not been one iota trace of her,” Giddings said. “We’ve done everything we can do. We don’t have anybody in there now, and the probability of finding her is zero.”
An intense search began Oct. 5 in the Fog Mountain area near Big Rock about 15 miles from the Moose Creek airstrip. Airplanes and helicopters from the U.S. Air Force, the Idaho National Guard, the Clearwater County Backcountry Helicopter Rescue team, along with several teams of tracking dogs and ground crews from multiple agencies were involved in the search.
Giddings said the searchers threw in the towel, saying they have scanned the area multiple times and have discovered nothing indicating Johnson’s whereabouts.
Giddings added that no tracks or blood was found, and he said the possibility of foul play is unlikely.
Johnson, an experienced outdoorswoman, was working as a cook for a hunting camp for Richie Outfitters of Salmon, Idaho, and was accompanied by her border collie, Ace.
The hunters temporarily left the camp Oct. 2, and when they returned three days later Johnson was not there.
Giddings said the hunters had radio contact with Johnson Oct. 3, but they were unable to understand what she was saying.
The camp is accessible only by horseback or on foot, and there were no vehicles nearby.
A separate search for Terrence Woods, 27, of Maryland, who also has been missing since Oct. 5, was called off Thursday after ground and aerial searches turned up no trace of him. Woods reportedly walked away from a British filming crew that was working on a project at the Penman Mine near Orogrande, about 40 miles southeast of Grangeville.
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