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Searchers race the clock to find missing Idaho hunter


The search and rescue team continues to race against the clock as a hunter has been missing for more than two days.

They’re looking for 63-year-old Edward Hempel. He was out hunting with his friend on Monday near Bernard Peak in Kootenai County backcountry, and they split up, but agreed to meet back up at 3 p.m. But Hempel didn’t show up.

“The urgency goes up the longer it is,” says Deputy Jeff Burns with Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

They’ve been out searching since Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. They have many concerns, including the weather and the forecasted rain.

“That’s going to be more difficult,” Deputy Burns says. “It’s going to be harder to stay warm for him.”

Family and friends have been at the camp waiting for any kind of information. KHQ spoke with Hempel’s girlfriend, Laura Harvey, who says “he’s friendly. He’s warm. He’s caring. He’s just a great person.”

There were teams on the ground, in the air, and also on Lake Pend Oreille, scouring the hillside for any sign of Hempel.

As of now, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office says they have enough trained people for the search. They will continue throughout the night until conditions become too dangerous. They are searching in steep, heavily wooded terrain.

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