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Body found in Theodore Roosevelt National Park was off-trail

MEDORA -- The dead body found by hikers Wednesday afternoon in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit is still unidentified. Park Chief Ranger Dean Wyckoff said investigators didn't want to speculate on the identity or cause of death bef...

MEDORA -- The dead body found by hikers Wednesday afternoon in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit is still unidentified.

Park Chief Ranger Dean Wyckoff said investigators didn’t want to speculate on the identity or cause of death before additional information could be gathered through an ongoing autopsy being performed in Bismarck.

Eileen Andes, the park’s chief of interpretation and public affairs, said the autopsy and investigation is being handled by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. As of now, Andes said, it has not been confirmed whether the body is male or female.

Wyckoff said the body was found north of Medora by a pair of visitors who were “hiking cross-country, not really on any trails or anything like that.”

After discovering the body, he said, the hikers returned to the Visitors Center and reported it in person. The site itself is being protected for the investigation, Wyckoff said.

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According to a park release, several law enforcement agencies responded to the scene after the finding. Those agencies included the Dickinson Police Department, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Billings County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service.

Wyckoff said there have been no hikers recently reported missing in the park prior to the discovery of the body.

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