Search crews find body of missing hiker in Smoky Mountains National Park

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Authorities have found the body of a woman Tuesday who vanished while hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Ohio woman disappeared while hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

[RELATED: Injured hiker rescued on Grandfather Mountain]

Park spokeswoman Julena Campbell told The Asheville Citizen-Times that Mitzie Sue "Susan" Clements, of Cleves, Ohio, was last seen one week earlier. Campbell says Clements was hiking with her daughter near Andrews Bald and the Clingmans Dome parking area when the two separated.

The daughter reported Clements missing shortly after hiking ahead and losing sight of her mother around 5 p.m., according to Campbell.

Rangers began searching that night.

Search crews found the body approximately two miles west of the Clingmans Dome parking area and three-quarters of a mile south of the Appalachian Trail, according to a park news release.

Her cause of death is unclear at this time.

The National Park Service said in a news release over the weekend that personnel from agencies in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia were aiding in the search for the 53-year-old woman.

Campbell says the park has about 100 search and rescue missions each year, and it's rare to not find someone within the first day.

The news release says as of Saturday, around 125 trained searchers were involved, as well as helicopters, drones and canine teams. It says the rescuers are working in unforgiving terrain, and volunteer searchers are not being sought.

Those with information can call the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch at 888-653-0009.

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