Hiker found dead in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
The body of a 48-year-old missing hiker was found Wednesday in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, officials said.
According to the National Park Service, searchers found the body of Dan Olszewski of Midlothian, Va., in a hard-to-see spot off the Maah Daah Hey Trail with the help of helicopter surveillance provided by the Minot Air Force Base. Eileen Andes, chief of interpretation and public affairs for the park, did not say what time Olszewski was found.
"We were definitely wishing for another outcome," she said.
The cause of death was unknown Wednesday evening. An autopsy will be performed, Andes said.
Olszewski's body was found not far from his car, but an exact distance was not given Wednesday. As far as Andes knew, there were no signs of animal involvement.
Olszewski was reported missing Monday morning by his employer, Morton Buildings Inc. where he was the construction center manager, after setting out Sunday morning on a hike, Andes said. He was visiting North Dakota for work.
This is the first death of a park visitor since 1996, when a horseback rider tried to cross the Little Missouri during a time of high water, Andes said.
The search for Olszewski went longer than those for previous lost hikers, Andes said. The park has two or three reports of missing hikers each year. They are usually found within hours or by the end of the day at the latest.
"We've had many, many people helping us and we really appreciate the help that was given to us by all of the volunteers who helped and the other agencies," she said.
The Billings County Sheriff's Office, Billings County Emergency Medical Services and the U.S. Forest Service were among the assisting agencies.
"Our sympathies are with the family," she said.
Olszewski's family declined comment Wednesday, Andes said.
"He's a very conscientious and hard-working employee with extremely high levels of competency and a great attention to detail," said Bruce Rae, a sales consultant with Morton Buildings.
The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch contributed to this story.