Authorities find body of missing hiker near Livingston

2013-07-08T14:43:00Z 2013-07-09T10:16:07Z Authorities find body of missing hiker near LivingstonGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
July 08, 2013 2:43 pm  • 

Authorities in Park County have found the body of a Livingston man who was missing for almost three weeks.

Brad Spalding, 27, was last seen on June 12 in Livingston before a tip led the Park County Sheriff's Office to his body on Friday.

A hiker in the George Lake Trailhead area passed on a tip "possibly relevant to the ongoing search" for Spalding on Friday and a deputy with a team of search dogs found the body about a mile from the trailhead and "well off the main trail in dense and rugged terrain" about eight hours later, Sheriff Allan Lutes said in a statement.

Family and friends and Park County search and rescue crews had previously organized searches for Spalding and had turned their efforts to the mountains, where they found his car a short time later.

The Park County Coroner's Office made a positive identification of the body and the resulting investigation by the sheriff's and coroner's offices determined "Mr. Spalding's death was self-inflicted," Lutes said in the statement.

"We appreciate all the assistance from the general public, search volunteers and support agencies during this intensive search effort," he said. "We are keeping the Spalding family in our thoughts and prayers."

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