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UPDATE: Missing Hiker Jennifer Hearn Found and Rescued After 3-Day Search

UPDATE (June 11, 2024, 5:30 PM MT)  – The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that missing hiker Jennifer Hearn has been found safe and is currently receiving medical care. Jennifer was reported missing on June 9 after embarking on a hike on Triangle Peak.

The search intensified this morning when Jennifer’s dog, Tawny, was located at approximately 9:30 a.m. This discovery allowed search crews to focus their efforts in a more targeted area, leading to Jennifer’s rescue around 3:30 p.m. Jennifer is now receiving medical attention, and further updates on her condition will be provided as available.

The successful rescue was a collaborative effort involving several agencies, including Mountain Rescue Aspen, SARDUS, Care Flight of the Rockies, Flight For Life, and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office extends its heartfelt gratitude to these organizations for their critical assistance and to the community for their unwavering support and cooperation during this challenging time.

UPDATE (6/11/2024 at 10:25 AM MT) – On June 9, at approximately 8:39 p.m., a concerned family member reported Jennifer missing to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy. Her vehicle was found at the Triangle Peak trailhead, a steep and rocky trail she frequents several times a week. The search was initiated by Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) volunteers but was halted due to darkness around 2:40 a.m.

The search resumed on June 10 with a significant deployment of resources, including 30 MRA members, a Flight for Life helicopter, a fixed-wing aircraft from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, and a dog handler team from SARDUS.

Pitkin County Undersheriff Alex Burchetta emphasized the importance of avoiding the search area to allow teams to work efficiently with specialized aircraft equipped with heat sensors. Unauthorized presence could lead to false positives and hinder the search efforts.

Search Timeline:

  • June 9, 8:57 p.m.: Initial search by MRA at the trailhead.
  • June 10, 8:17 a.m.: Search resumed with expanded resources and is ongoing.

How to Help:

  • Avoid the Triangle Peak area to allow search and rescue teams to work without disruption.
  • If you have any immediate information, call Pitkin County dispatch or 911. Non-urgent tips can be submitted via the provided link.
  • Residents in the Triangle Peak area should check security, game, or gate cameras and inspect surrounding structures for any signs of Jennifer or her dog.

Updates on the search will be provided through the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office social media channels. Please rely on official sources for accurate information.

For media inquiries, contact or 970-400-7276.

ORIGINAL STORY (6/10/2024 at 2:25 PM MT) – Authorities are currently conducting an extensive search for missing hiker Jennifer Hearn, who was last seen around 11:00 AM on June 9, 2024. Jennifer, a 5’10” white female with grey hair and brown eyes, embarked on a hike up Triangle Peak Trail with her dog, Tawny, a brown Irish Setter.

For updates and information, contact the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 920-5300 or the detectives listed on the missing person poster.

Jennifer was reported missing when she failed to return from her hike. She was last seen wearing jean shorts and a green t-shirt or long sleeve shirt. The search effort, coordinated by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with Mountain Rescue Aspen, is focused on the Triangle Peak area, including the vicinity of Upper River Road.

According to AllTrails, the Triangle Peak Trail is a challenging 4.9-mile route with more than 1,800 feet of elevation gain. While it is reportedly clear of snow, the trail is still muddy and ascends through rugged terrain.

“We are asking the public to avoid the roads and trails around Triangle Peak to allow our search teams to operate efficiently,” stated the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office in a social media post. “If anyone has seen Jennifer or her dog since yesterday afternoon, please contact us immediately.”

The Sheriff’s Office is urging anyone with information or sightings of Jennifer to reach out. The public’s cooperation is critical in locating her and ensuring her safety.

Missing Person Jennifer Hearn

Tips for Staying Safe If You Get Lost While Hiking

Hiking can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it’s important to be prepared in case you get lost. Here are some essential tips to keep you safe:

  1. Stay Calm and Stay Put: If you realize you’re lost, don’t panic. Try to stay in one place, as moving around can make it harder for rescuers to find you.

  2. Signal for Help: Use a whistle, flashlight, or brightly colored clothing to attract attention. Three short bursts on a whistle or three flashes of light are recognized distress signals.

  3. Use Your Phone Wisely: If you have cell service, call for help immediately and provide as much detail about your location as possible. Conserve your phone battery by turning off unnecessary functions.

  4. Stay Visible: Find an open area where you can be easily seen from the air. If you’re in a dense forest, create a clear area by removing branches and foliage.

  5. Stay Warm and Dry: Use any available materials to build a shelter to protect yourself from the elements. Insulate yourself from the ground using leaves or other vegetation.

  6. Ration Your Supplies: Conserve your food and water. Avoid unnecessary exertion to prevent dehydration.

  7. Follow Water Sources: If you need to move, follow a stream or river downhill. Water sources often lead to trails or inhabited areas.

  8. Leave Clues: If you decide to move, leave markers or notes indicating your direction of travel. This can help rescuers track your movements.

Remember, preparation is key to preventing getting lost. Always tell someone your plans, carry a map and compass, and pack essential survival items such as water, food, a whistle, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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