FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. — The search efforts for missing hiker Steven Keller were suspended on Monday, Sept. 11, according to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO).
Fremont County Sheriff Ryan Lee told County 10 that Keller is presumed deceased.
“The remoteness of the area, the high elevation and the extremely rugged terrain have made searching extremely difficult, and there has been no sign of him,” a Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) press release issued during the search period said.
Keller, a 76-year-old visiting from Palo Alto, California, was reported missing in Wind River mountains on Sept. 2. He became separated from his hiking group near Steamboat Lake on the Wind River Indian Reservation, according to FCSO. Keller reportedly left on a solo day hike without a backpack. After several hours of looking for Keller, his party issued an SOS call from a satellite communication device.
The next morning, helicopters belonging to the Wyoming National Guard and Tip Top Search and Rescue transported teams into the area and performed an aerial search. Tribal Game and Fish officials also entered the area to search for Keller on Monday, Sept. 4. Monday’s aerial search was impeded by severe weather. Aerial and ground searches continued as weather permitted.
A representative from Tip Top told Buckrail that their services were no longer needed in the search by Saturday, Sept. 9.
Keller’s family might fund a private search for him, according to County 10. They are still working with Tribal Game and Fish.