FLATHEAD COUNTY, MT - A desperate search is taking place in beautiful Big Sky country for a former Prescott resident, Madeline Connelly, and her dog Mogi.
Connelly was on her way to Alaska for a job, and had stopped in Montana to visit an uncle. Connelly, a Prescott College who friends say loved the outdoors, also wanted to go hiking in an area known as the Great Bear Wilderness, home to Grizzly bears and other Montana wildlife.
Connelly had planned to spend the night camping with her dog and left for the hike on May 4th. She has not been seen since. The Flathead County Sheriff's Office said her car was found two days later, at the Bear Creek trailhead, but so far a ground and air search had turned up nothing.
The area they are searching encompasses more than 40 square miles of difficult, steep, and heavily wooded terrain. A sheriff's office spokeswoman told ABC15 the command post was set up two hours deep into the wilderness, where there was no cell coverage.
The discovery of fresh bear and cub tracks caused some concern, but search rescue crews remained optimistic as they had not seen any evidence of torn clothing, blood, or anything else that indicated a bear attack.
Temperatures in the area have dipped into the 30's at night. Crews planned to search until it became dark, and will resume again tomorrow.