Body of missing hiker found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


SEVIER COUNTY (WATE) – Search crews have located the body of Susan Clements, 53, of Ohio.

Investigators stated her body was found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park late this afternoon two miles west of the Clingmans Dome parking area, three-fourth miles south of the Appalachian Trail.
“Our hearts are with the family and friends of Ms. Clements,” officials stated in a release Tuesday evening. “The park would like to extend our appreciation to the many agencies and organizations that participated in the search effort.”

Officials with GSMNP said the last time anyone saw Clements was last Tuesday in the Clingmans Dome area of the park. She was hiking with her daughter, who says the two were separated.  

“Over the last couple of days we’ve concentrated both on trails in this area as well as starting to work off trail and into some of the drainage that come down from this mountain ridge. Right now, we’re really focusing on the off trail areas since we have now kind of cleared and walked through most of the trails and haven’t found her,” said park spokesperson Julena Campbell said last week. 

The rocky terrain and dense vegetation, made this search particularly difficult.

“It takes a lot of people and a lot of time to just comb through that landscape to make sure that we don’t find her or a clue,” said Campbell.

Several search crew were part of the effort, including dog teams, helicopters and drones.

“We’re working at least 12 if not 16 hour days, and we’ll continue doing that as long as we need to,” Campbell said.

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