North Idaho

Crews find body of missing Idaho hunter

BERNARD PEAK, Idaho - Emergency responders had to wait until daylight Thursday to recover the body of a hunter, missing in North Idaho.

The 36th Rescue Squadron helicopter from Fairchild Air Force Base had been assisting in the search for 63-year old Edward Hempel, who disappeared in the Bernard Peak area Monday. The crew spotted a body on the face of a cliff about a half mile from where Hempel was last seen.

Up against nightfall and without resources to access the body, search crews had to wait until Thursday morning to get to him.

A helicopter from Two-Bear Air in Flathead County, Montana was brought in Thursday morning. They use specialized equipment to recover the remains, which they brought to the Kootenai County Sheriff's marine unit along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille.

The body was positively identified as Hempel, who is from Post Falls. An autopsy will be done to determine how he died.

In a statement Thursday, Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said, "The sheriff's office expresses our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Hempel and offers gratitude to the dedicated searchers who aided in his recovery."