Two Columbia-area Hikers Found Dead in Alaska Wilderness

Jul 4, 2018

Two experienced local hikers, both with extensive careers in conservation, were found dead Monday in an Alaska national park.

Rochelle Renken and Michael Huffman, both 62, were reported missing on June 27, and an intensive air-and-ground search was conducted for four days around Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.

Their bodies were recovered by the National Park Service along the Sanford River near Mt. Drum, according to information from the Park Service.

Huffman and Renken, retired employees of the Missouri Department of Conservation, had planned a six-day backpacking trip in Alaska, according to the Park Service. They were last seen when their pilot dropped them off less than two miles from where their bodies would be found.

The pair missed two pre-planned phone calls and then their scheduled pick-up time on June 27. The air-and-ground search began the same day, and by June 28, there were 27 people and five aircrafts looking for them.

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