Missing Hiker’s Body Found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The body of Mitzie Susan Clements was discovered Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, two miles from Clingmans Dome and less than one mile from the Appalachian Trail. Details on her cause of death have not been released at this time.

Clements, of Cleves, Ohio, was reported missing Sept. 25 after becoming separated from her daughter near Clingmans Dome while the two were day hiking on the Forney Ridge Trail. Her daughter reported hiking ahead and losing sight of Clements around 5 p.m.

Clements (left) pictured with her daughter. Photo via NPS

Great Smoky Mountains park rangers began searching shortly after Clements was reported missing, interviewing hikers and surveying nearby trails throughout the week. The park service had initially said foul play was not suspected in Clements’ disappearance.

On Sept. 27, an additional 40 search and rescue personnel were brought on to aid efforts. According to a Facebook post by GSMNP, the road to the observation tower on Clingmans Dome tower was closed to vehicles on Sept. 28 “to better facilitate search-related traffic and to ensure the safety of search crews.” The road has since reopened. Verizon brought in a cell tower to increase cell coverage and aid in efforts, though search efforts were thwarted by heavy fog and wet conditions.

Search crews near Clingmans Dome as of Sept. 29. Photo via NPS

Clements worked for the city of Cincinnati and was the mother to three children. A GoFundMe was created by another daughter of Clements to aid with expenses during the search effort.

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