Woman's body recovered in Glacier Park
By CHRIS PETERSON and CHAD SOKOL
A Two Bear Air helicopter crew on Tuesday afternoon recovered the body of a 34-year-old woman who went missing last week during an apparent solo hike in Glacier National Park.
Jennifer Coleman, of Richmond, Virginia, was airlifted out of a steep, rocky area below the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, which is accessed via the Highline Trail from Logan Pass. Searchers found her body on Sunday but postponed the recovery due to high winds that made the operation unsafe.
Park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman said it appeared Coleman fell into the area but the cause of death remains under investigation.
"We don't know what happened," Kerzman said.
The trail reaches the Continental Divide and runs up the west side of the Garden Wall, but the east side of the wall has no trail and falls off almost vertically in some places.
Coleman was supposed to check out of the West Glacier KOA campground on Aug. 31 but never did, officials said. The search in Glacier began after rangers found her vehicle in the Logan Pass parking lot the following day.
Coleman's parents, Hal and Sharon Coleman, are leaders of the AWARE Foundation, a Virginia-based nonprofit that advocates for missing people.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, the couple shared photos with a park ranger displaying maps and describing the intensive five-day search for their daughter. The couple expressed grief as well as gratitude, saying they had "nothing but praise" for the many personnel who assisted in the effort.
"They all took the mission as if they were searching for their own family member," the Colemans wrote. "They are grieving with us, they all are extremely professional, took measures to make sure we could grieve and process our loss privately."