Search for missing Montana hiker turns up bear tracks on human tracks; video

Search teams have found grizzly bear tracks on human tracks but no sign of the missing hiker. Photo: Courtesy of the USFWS

*Update: Madeline Connelly was found alive, with her dog, on Wednesday.

A search for a woman who has been missing for five days in northern Montana has revealed grizzly bear tracks mixed with boot prints.

But so far there is no sign of Madeline Connelly, 23, who went hiking with her dog last Thursday in the Great Bear Wilderness and has not been seen since.

Besides the tracks, there is no evidence to suggest that Connelly was attacked by a bear. But the area she was hiking, beyond the Bear Creek trailhead, is known for grizzly bear activity.

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A full-scale search was launched Saturday, after Connelly’s uncle had located her vehicle at the trailhead.

“They’re treating this as a rescue, not a recovery,” Michael Connelly, Madeline’s uncle, told ABC News. “There have been no signs of any torn clothing or blood or anything like that. They’re treating it as if she’s out there.”

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Jim Pierce, with the Two Bear Air rescue team, told ABC Fox Montana that the human tracks teams have been following have been mixed with grizzly bear tracks. The bear tracks, Pierce said, were those of an adult bear with two cubs.

There was no sign of Connelly’s medium-sized dog, Mogie.

Connelly, a former Montana resident now residing in Arizona, was on her way to Alaska to start a new job when she stopped to visit her uncle.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about Connelly’s possible whereabouts to telephone 406-758-5610.