Glacier National Park Hiker Found Dead After Being Reported Missing for Days

by Courtney Blackann

It’s another heartbreaking story in a scenario that happens all too often. A missing hiker from Virginia was found dead in Glacier National Park in Montana Sunday. The woman was identified as 34-year-old Jennifer Coleman. She was hiking alone.

While Coleman’s hiking skills were top notch, according to her friends and family, the woman went missing Aug. 30 or 31. At least that’s when officials believe she got into trouble. Her body was found along the area’s Continental Divide. It’s a rocky and steep region of land. While authorities were unable to retrieve Coleman’s body due to high winds Sunday, they’re also unsure of her cause of death.

Coleman was camping near Logan Pass alone. It’s something she loved and had done many times, her friends said, according to The Daily Mail.

The woman sent a text message on Aug. 30 from the Logan Pass area. However, after that, no one heard from her again. She was supposed to pick up her dogs from a boarding facility the following day, but never showed up.

Officials Find Hiker’s Campsite

Park officials found Coleman’s camping supplies at the West Glacier KOA campsite after her family asked them to conduct a wellness check. But there was no sign of the woman nearby.

Over 50 people joined in search efforts to find Coleman. After a few days, her body was discovered. Coleman’s parents are leaders of a group called AWARE – an organization dedicated to finding missing people. The organization announced her death in a Facebook post.

‘It is with heavy heart that we have to share this news. Jennifer Coleman, daughter of one of our own AWARE family, Hal and Sharon Coleman, has been located deceased. Details surrounding this tragedy are not available at this time. Please respect the family as they process their grief & loss. Please also respect us with the foundation as we comfort the Coleman’s,’ the post read. 

Coleman’s best friend Marlee Mason urged anyone with information to help after the hiker went missing.

“If she’s out there and she’s lost, then that means she does need help,” Mason told reporters. “I just want to reach as many people as possible spread awareness, and just try, on the off chance that anybody has maybe seen her in the last three days, reach them.”

Park Service Warns Hikers to Be Smart

Glacier National Park is a popular destination for hikers of all experience levels. It’s a gorgeous region with lots of trails and beautiful scenery.

The National Park Service warns hikers to prepare for every situation and to let others know exactly where you’ll be in case of an emergency. Hiking alone is not advised.

“Your safety is your responsibility while hiking in national parks. Planning is an important step in being prepared and ready for your adventure. If you are going to the backcountry, know how to be self sufficient in case you encounter an unexpected hazard or an emergency occurs,” according to the official Parks website.