Friday, October 4, 2013

Volunteers wanted in search for woman

Craters of the Moon employees get exemption from fed shutdown

Express Staff Writer

     The Silver Sage Grotto, a local caving club, is requesting that people with cave exploring experience in south-central Idaho volunteer in the search for a Boise woman missing at Craters of the Moon National Monument for two weeks.

     Meanwhile, KTVB reported Wednesday that Craters of the Moon employees have received an exemption from federal furlough requirements so that rangers can continue the search for 63-year-old Jo Elliot-Blakeslee.

     Her hiking partner, 69-year-old Amy Linkert, was found dead at the monument on Sept. 25. Butte County officials earlier reported that she died of exposure.

     The Silver Sage Grotto believes Elliot-Blakeslee most likely took shelter in a cave.

     “If authorities haven’t found Ms. Blakeslee by this weekend, the Silver Sage Grotto is planning to head back out and continue the search,” club Chair Chris Anderson stated in a press release. “Given the fact that she hasn’t been found by helicopters, it is still believed she ended up below ground.”

     The release advised volunteers that there are “many small and difficult caves in the wilderness area” of the monument and that volunteers need to bring helmets, three sources of lights, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and food and water.

     “These items are needed as the caves are very sharp and dangerous,” the press release states. “GPS and communications devices are also welcome.”

     Volunteers for the cave search should contact Anderson at 208-420-1662 or monument Liaison Officer Steve Frye at 208-420-1662.

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