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Body of missing hiker found at Craters of the Moon after four-week search

The Associated Press has this report on the recovery of the body of a missing hiker at Craters of the Moon: POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Searchers have found the body of a Boise woman after a four-week effort at Craters of the Moon National Monument in south-central Idaho. Park Superintendent Dan Buckley says the body of Dr. Jodean “Jo” Elliott-Blakeslee was spotted Tuesday evening by park rangers in a helicopter. Her body was about a mile from where the body of her friend Amy Linkert, was found on Sept. 26. Butte County officials said it appeared the 69-year-old Linkert died of exposure. The women were last seen on Sept. 19 at a campground in Arco and were reported missing several days later after Elliott-Blakeslee didn't report for work at the Oregon Department of Corrections in Ontario, Ore. Officials believe the two had intended to go on a short hike. Their phones, purses and dogs were found in a pickup.

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.