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Post Falls hunter goes missing in Kootenai County backcountry


A Post Falls man is currently listed as missing in the Bernard Peak area Tuesday night. That’s the heavily forested mountainous region in the northeast corner of Kootenai County. 

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office reports 63-year-old Edward A. Hempel and another man were in the Bernard Peak area Monday afternoon around 1 p.m. when the two men split up and were supposed to meet up again between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. When Hempel didn’t show up, family and friends began to search for him with no luck. They contacted the sheriff’s office around 11 a.m. Tuesday to report him missing.

Backcountry deputies assembled a 30-person volunteer search and rescue team and searched the area ATVs, search dogs and man trackers. Spokane County Sheriff’s Air 1 helicopter was called in to assist with the search from the air..

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, the search has been unsuccessful. The search for Hempel will be scaled back overnight, but searchers will be back in the area starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Hempel is described as a white man, about 6 feet tall, 200 lbs with blonde hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing all camouflage hunting clothes and a camouflaged backpack with an orange cover.

If anyone was in the area and saw Hempel, they’re asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office at 208-446-1300.

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