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Search resumes for woman missing in the mountains near Red Lodge

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Posted at 8:43 AM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 10:46:42-04

Search efforts continued over the weekend for 23-year-old Tatum Morell, who has been missing in the mountains near Red Lodge since July 5.

According to Red Lodge Fire and Rescue, K9 search teams will be working in the area searching several mountain peaks and numerous lakes both Saturday and Sunday.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office helicopter will also be assisting in the search.

Morell, a graduated student at Montana State University from Idaho, was set to hike five peaks over 12,000 feet in the Beartooth Mountains outside Red Lodge.

Her last communication was with her mother on July 1. Searchers believe Morell left her tent the morning of Friday, July 2, to scale a 12,000-foot peak and never returned. She had planned to scale five such mountain peaks in the West Fork of Rock Creek, and she'd been training since she was a child, according to Red Lodge rescuers.

“Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of places that Tate could have gotten into trouble on these rugged mountains when the storms came into the area on Friday,” said Red Lodge Fire Chief Tom Kuntz. “After the extensive search efforts, we do not believe she survived.”

Red Lodge Fire Rescue and the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office will continue search efforts on a limited but continuous basis. There will be limited area searches by trained rescuers, investigation of specific identified targets, and periodic searches by search dog teams.

Her family asks that those wishing to help in search efforts or commemorate her life to donate in her honor to Red Lodge Fire Rescue.