LOGAN — Search and rescue teams have located the body of a 76-year-old man missing in the mountains east of Logan. William Budd Mortensen reportedly went hiking by himself near Right Hand Fork Sunday and never returned.
Cache County Sheriff’s Lt. Doyle Peck confirmed searchers found Mortensen deceased around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. It is believed he suffered a medical event, possibly a heart attack, just before passing away.
Mortensen’s family called deputies Tuesday afternoon, reporting him missing. They said he was an avid hiker and often went on 3-5 mile hikes on the weekends. However, when he failed to attend a family gathering on Monday, they became concerned.
A deputy later located Mortensen’s vehicle parked up Right Hand Fork, near Camp Lomia. They began searching Tuesday evening until dark.
Wednesday, crews returned to the area. Teams on foot, horseback and motorbikes continued their search east of the camp. A helicopter was also used to provide aerial support.
Peck said Mortensen’s body was located in steep terrain and was hoisted out with the assistance of the helicopter. A medical autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
Deputies believe Mortensen’s death was accidental and not suspicious.
Several people had reported seeing Mortensen on Sunday. One witness claimed they spoke to him near Old Ephraim’s grave, offering him a ride. The witness told searchers, Mortensen had declined and decided he would make his way down Ephraim’s Cutoff Trail.
Peck praised the efforts of search teams for locating Mortensen. He said, even though it wasn’t the outcome they wanted, it will at least allow the family to have closure and begin the grieving process.
One of Mortensen’s grandsons posted on Facebook, praising law enforcement, searchers and all the volunteers who took time to help. He also expressed appreciation for the community’s support and prayers.