The body of an Idaho physician who disappeared while hiking with a friend in a national park last month has been found, officials said.
Dr. Jodean Elliott-Blakeslee was hiking in Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve with her friend, Amelia Linkert, and the par was last seen on Sept. 19 at a campground in the park. Linkert was found days later, but officials were stymied in the hunt for Blakeslee, 63, who practiced medicine in Boise. But the search ended Tuesday night when a helicopter team spotted the body in the lava fields north and west of the Tree Molds Trail.
“We hope that this will bring closure to her family, friends and all those who have been involved in the search," said Park Superintendent Dan Buckley. "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.”
The body was approximately one mile from the site where Linkert's was found. A final determination of cause of death is pending the investigation by the coroner and law enforcement personnel.
Family and friends had held out hope Blakeslee might be alive, but that hope waned as days passed. Barely a week into the search, the partial government shutdown prompted park officials to get a waiver to keep 10 highly-trained rangers on hand for the search, in addition to a three-person skeleton crew, although none knew if they would be paid. When the partial shutdown ended, Congress voted to give all furloughed federal employees back pay.