Body found on Mount Rainier; search for hiker suspended

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on June 22, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Mount Rainier National Park officials said the body of a female was found Saturday afternoon. The search for missing hiker Karen Sykes has been suspended.

Earlier Saturday, park spokeswoman Patti Wold said six ground crews, including two Kittatas County dog teams, were searching an expanded area further out from the Owyhigh Lakes Trail. Air operations were also supporting search efforts.

The search area was in steep, rugged terrain with snow cover starting at the 4500-6500 foot level.

Sykes is well-known in the Northwest hiking community and has written numerous hiking stories for online publications and newspapers. She is also a photographer and has written a book about hikes in Western Washington.

She was working on a story, Wold said.

READ: Hiker 'guru of trails' missing on Mount Rainier

Sykes hiked ahead of her partner Wednesday when the two reached snow level at an elevation of about 5,000 feet on the east side of the mountain, Wold said. She was reported overdue several hours later.

The German Shepherd Search and Rescue of Washington State, Kittatas County dog teams, King County Explorers, and Everett, Olympic, and Seattle Mountain Rescue personnel have been involved in the search efforts. An MD-530 helicopter from Northwest Helicopters in Olympia, Washington provided air support.

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