Idaho Hiker Body Found In National Park

    October 23, 2013
    Sarah Parrott
    Comments are off for this post.

Dr. Jo Elliott-Blakeslee, aged 63, went hiking with her friend, Amelia Linkert, about a month ago in Idaho’s national Craters of The Moon park. The two were last seen on September 19th, in a campground on the park’s grounds. The two were declared missing on September 24th, and a hunt began to find them. Linkert was found a few days later, but the hunt to find Dr. Blakeslee was stalled because of the government shutdown.

During the partial government shutdown, which barely a week into the search for Dr. Blakeslee, park officials got a waiver to keep 10 rangers on patrol and a 3-person skeleton crew on hand, though none of the employees were sure if they would get paid or not. This, essentially, left them acting as volunteers in the search for the missing Dr. Blakeslee. After the shutdown ended, congress immediately voted to give backpay to all furloughed federal employees, such as the rangers and skeleton crew.

During the shutdown, hope was held out by Dr. Blakeslee’s family and friends that she would be found alive and well. However, this was not the case. Yesterday, Dr. Blakeslee’s body was discovered about a mile away from where Linkert had been retrieved. Park Superintendent Dan Buckley said on the topic of finding the body, “We hope that this will bring closure to her family, friends and all those who have been involved in the search. 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.”

As of yet, no autopsy has been performed, so the cause and date of death are still unknown. As such, it is hard to know how big a role the government shutdown played in having Dr. Blakeslee’s body found, rather than her living person.

[Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.]
  • Mensaman

    Was Linkert found alive???? Otherwise we assume she was found alive.
    What kind of article is this?
    Searchers continued to work to find Dr. Jo so what has this to do with the shutdown or slimdown of government????
    So I get it that some moron writes an article implying, in essence, that ,”the government shut down caused the deaths of a person.”
    Bulll Sheittt.
    I send my sincere sympathies to the family. May she rest in peace.

  • Concerned SAR Worker

    I’ve been following this case since its inception. These women left their two dogs in their truck, they were not going to be away long. Their family stated they’d never leave the dogs alone more then a few hours. One woman is found in an area that was described by park personnel as “inaccessible”, their words, not mine. Now, after hundreds of helicopter hours, yes, hundreds, they find her partners body just one mile from hers, and, it’s in plain view from the air and found by another helicopter. Readers, something has been wrong on this case from its beginning. Both women are not very mobile, both professionals and both dedicated to their dogs. The implication is, they would NEVER leave the trails……What happened here will be covered up by the NPS…..Google- “Missing 411.”

  • Two Rod Pete

    I think the entire truth is not being told here. to imply that this death is due to the govt shutdown is not believeable. dedicated searchers would continue as volunteers. and they ended up getting back pay anyway. it will take awhile, as always, but the whole truth will eventually come out. and it WON’T be due to govt shutdown.