Rescuers find missing woman's body at Craters of the Moon

Dr. Jo Elliot-Blakeslee (left) and Amy Linkert (right)

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by Justin Corr & KTVB

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 26 at 7:59 AM

ARCO, Idaho -- Butte County search crews say they have found the body of one of the two Boise women who disappeared during a camping trip at Craters of the Moon National Monument in eastern Idaho.

Dan Buckley, the monument's superintendent, says that the Idaho Army National Guard and Butte County Sheriff's Office located the body by helicopter around two miles southwest of the Tree Molds Trail head parking lot in a very rugged and inaccessible area of the lava field.

Buckley said they were able to positively identify that it was one of the woman they were searching for, and officials are still notifying family.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office and monument staff began the search Tuesday morning, which is when they learned that the two were overdue, and may have been in trouble.

Amy Linkert turns 70 on Thursday, and Dr. Jo Elliott-Blakeslee is 63-years-old. They left for a camping trip near Craters of the Moon National Monument last Thursday and were scheduled to return Saturday. They didn't.

Their trailer was found parked at a campground in Arco, which is also where the women were last seen on Thursday. Their truck was found at a trail head at Craters of the Moon, with their cell phones, personal items, and their dogs. Pets aren't allowed on the hiking trails there. Deputies believe they were making a day hike, and there is no indication of foul play.

Forty people were out searching for them Wednesday, including family-members and some search dogs. Also, Civil Air Patrol pilots are flying over the area, and the Idaho Army National Guard has two choppers helping out.

The search is concentrated on a five square-mile area on the south end of the monument, near where their pickup was found at Tree Molds Trail.

Cynthia Brandt is the Reverend of Wright Community Congregational Church in Boise, where Linkert and Elliott-Blakeslee volunteer a lot of their time. "I heard this morning from a family member, and of course, I'm absolutely stunned. There's no way to be prepared for such news. And you just hope for the best and pray for the best."

Amy Linkert is retired from the Meridian School District. Dr. Jo Elliott-Blakeslee is a doctor from Boise who works for the Oregon Department of Corrections in Ontario.

"[They're] longtime members of the church, very dear people, both of them very generous. Both generous with their time and their energy, everything," said Brandt. "At this point, it is a matter of prayer."

Buckley said the same amount of search crews will be out searching Thursday for the other woman.

If you have any information that might help the search, you should call the Butte County Sheriff's Office at 208-527-8553.

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