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Sheriff - News

Posted on: October 26, 2020

Press Release – Lost Hiker Search Update

Blaine County Sheriff Search and Rescue are continuing the search for the lost hiker, Fern L. Baird, in the Prairie Peak area, north of Ketchum, Idaho.

Although early winter conditions have challenged the high elevation search with below freezing night-time temperatures and covering the ground with a fresh blanket of mountain snow, we are still actively investigating her whereabouts.

Baird, age 63 of Park City, Utah, signed in at the Prairie Creek Trailhead on Monday, October 19, 2020, around 1 p.m. and has not returned. Blaine County Sheriff Search and Rescue members (BCSAR) and BCSO deputies began a search for Baird on Thursday afternoon, October 22, 2020, after being notified she was missing. Baird’s 2018 Subaru Crosstrek was locaFern Baird ted in the Prairie Creek parking area. From the trailhead, there are multiple hike options Baird could have taken.

To this point, the search has focused on the Prairie Lakes, Minor Lakes, Norton Lakes, and Mill Lake at elevations from 7,100 feet to 9,200 feet. The search has included three K9 search teams, several Idaho National Guard helicopters, two drones, and numerous searchers on foot, motorcycles, and horseback.

“We are continuing to seek information from the public,” said Sheriff Steve Harkins. “We are interested in speaking with an unknown Boise couple and also a party of five hikers from Tulsa, Oklahoma that both hiked either the West Fork drainage of Prairie Creek or to Prairie Lake on October 19, 2020. These individuals may have information or saw Baird hiking that day,” added Harkins.

If anyone has seen Baird or has any information about her, please contact BCSO Lt. Mike Abaid at (208)578-3371 or  Baird’s family is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to her return.

Fern Baird is 5’5” tall and weighs 115 lbs. Baird was last seen as pictured wearing a grey jacket, black pants, and carrying a black fanny pack. Baird is an experienced hiker but is not known to do technical hikes or mountaineering. She does not have a dog. Fern L Baird

Sheriff Harkins wishes to thank everyone involved with efforts to find Fern Baird. "The dedication of Search and Rescue members and volunteers who are looking for Fern is incredible," said Harkins.

Sheriff Steve Harkins

Posted: 4:00 p.m. on October 26, 2020

CONTACT:    Holly Carter – Blaine County Sheriff’s Office (208) 788-5536         End.### 

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