Missing hiker found, reunited with family

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Date: August 9, 2016
Contact: Kevin Bacher, Public Information Officer, 360-569-6567

A search for a missing hiker ended successfully this morning when she was reunited with family at the Mowich Lake trailhead in Mount Rainier National Park.

Lacy Murphy, 24, of Missouri, left Puyallup, Washington on Sunday afternoon, August 7, to go for a short hike by herself. When she did not return, she was reported missing, and on the morning of August 8, a search began. Murphy's vehicle was located at Mowich Lake, a trailhead in the northwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park. A 26-person search team assembled at that location, made up of park rangers and members of Pierce County Explorer Search and Rescue; Seattle, Everett, and Olympic Mountain Rescue; and German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington.

At about 5pm, two members of the search team made verbal contact as they hiked the trails south of Mowich Lake calling Murphy's name. Over the next several hours, Murphy was located at the bottom of a steep slope below the Spray Park Trail in heavily wooded terrain. A Mountain Rescue team conducted a technical rescue using ropes and a litter to lift Murphy up the slope and assist her back to the trail. After warming up and eating some food, she was able to walk out under her own power, and was reunited with her mother at the Mowich Lake trailhead about 5:00 this morning.

Murphy reports that she stepped off the trail to take a photograph, lost her footing, and slid down a steep slope. She tried to find her way back to the trail, but the terrain was so steep that she kept sliding further down instead. She spent Sunday night in a hollow log to keep dry.

The National Park Service recommends that hikers leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or family member, and carry the "10 essentials," including emergency food, water, and clothing.

- NPS -

Last updated: August 9, 2016

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