NewsMontana and Regional News


Search for missing hiker continues near Red Lodge

Posted at 12:06 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 14:06:17-04

The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office and other regional search and rescue crews on Wednesday joined the effort to find missing hiker Tatum "Tate" Morell in the Beartooth Mountains outside of Red Lodge.

The additional resources were deployed to search for 23-year old Morell, who has not been heard from since the evening of July 1st when she talked with her mother on an InReach satellite device from her camp at Shadow Lake in the West Fork of the Rock Creek drainage.

Authorities believe she left the camp Friday morning on a plan to solo hike five peaks of more than 1,200 feet in the area. The Carbon County Sheriff's Office announced Monday evening a search had been launched for the woman, who is described as an avid hiker.

Red Lodge Fire Rescue announced Wednesday morning that search efforts now included several teams from surrounding areas, including Yellowstone County, Gallatin County, Big Horn County, Park County, Wyo., and the U.S. Forest Service. The search effort also includes three dog teams and three helicopters.

Search dog crews load into a helicopter provided by Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder on Wednesday.

The teams on Wednesday were tasked with searching the routes Morell may have taken to climb the peaks in the area, with a focus on Sundance, Bowback, Castle, and Whitetail mountains, according to a press release.

Helicopter crews from the National Guard and Two Bear Air searched the area through Tuesday evening using visual, infrared camera, cell phone tracking, and Recco tracking while ground crews searched the area around her camp and the surrounding lakes.

Morell is an engineering graduate student at Montana State University-Bozeman and is originally from Idaho. This was her first trip to the Beartooths. She is an experienced hiker who explores terrain like this often and recently accomplished a similar trip in Gallatin County climbing 5 peaks in 5 days, the press release states.

Carbon County Sheriff Josh McQuillan asks that if you may have seen Morell recently or have any information about her plans that you call the Sheriff’s Office at 406-446-1234.