Mt. Rainier Rescuers Find a Body, Suspend Search for Missing 70-Year-Old Writer

UPDATE: The Mount Rainier search for missing outdoors writer Karen Sykes has been suspended with the recovery of the body of a “deceased female” in the area where teams have been focusing their efforts.

The body, recovered about 3 p.m. Saturday, wasn’t immediately identified.

Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patti Wold said that the remains were found off the trail near Boundary Creek in rough, steep terrain — an area difficult to access and not commonly traveled.

There was no immediate word on the cause of death, and Wold said the medical examiner would determine the person’s identity.

Park officials had announced earlier in the day that the search had been suspended, but they did not elaborate at that time.

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (TheBlaze/AP) — Less than a month after six climbers were presumed dead in a 3,000-foot fall, yet another is missing on Mount Rainier.

Karen Sykes was reported missing late Wednesday while she researched a story. (Image source: AP/Lola Kemp)

Rescuers have suspended their search for a well-known, 70-year-old outdoors writer who hasn’t been seen since she separated from her hiking partner on Wednesday.

Karen Sykes was reportedly working on a story when she and her partner encountered snow at about 5,000 feet. Her partner stayed as Sykes went on, with the idea that they’d reconvene, but she never turned up.

Six ground crews, including two dog teams, combed an expanded search area near the Owyhigh Lakes Trail on Rainier’s east side Saturday. Rescuers also searched by air.

Sykes is known in the Northwest hiking community and has written numerous hiking stories for online publications and newspapers.

Only 20 days ago Mount Rainier National Park officials said six climbers were presumed dead in what may have been a 3,000-foot fall after helicopters detected pings from emergency beacons buried in the snow and a debris field that could have indicated an avalanche, according to the Associated Press.

Park spokeswoman Patricia Wold told KOMO-TV on May 31 that there’s no way the group could have survived the plunge down a steep rockfall. The Seattle Times reports that rescuers found tents, clothing and debris strewn over hundreds of feet down the mountain’s sheer north side.

This story has been updated.


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