Body found in Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday believed to be missing hiker

Jens "Jay" Yambert of Urbana, Ill.

A body found Friday in Rocky Mountain National Park is believed to be that of an Illinois man who was reported missing earlier this week.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue ground team members found the body, believed to be Jens Yambert of Urbana, Ill., west of Keplinger’s Couloir at an elevation of 12,600 feet. The body was located in extremely steep and rugged terrain, according to officials.

The body’s positive identification will not be released until an autopsy is performed by the Boulder County Coroner.

Because of Friday afternoon’s weather and erratic winds in the park, rangers will be staying in the area overnight and an investigation will take place Saturday. Efforts to recover the body will also begin tomorrow, officials said.

It is unknown when complete recovery efforts will take place due to the extended weather forecast for high elevations.

No further information was available until the investigation and autopsy are complete.

A family member notified park rangers Tuesday evening that Yambert, 60, was overdue. He was believed to have started his trek at 2 p.m. Aug. 26 from the Longs Peak Trailhead on the east side of the park. Yambert’s rental car was found at the trailhead Tuesday night.

His planned destination or route was unknown, though a possible route may have been Clark’s Arrow to the summit of Longs Peak, according to park officials. He was described as possibly wearing a black raincoat, khaki pants and hat, sandals and a blue/grey back pack. He may have also been using trekking poles.

Park staff indicated they heard from visitors who reportedly saw Yambert the morning of Aug. 27 along the Keyhole Route. It was indicated that the weather then was poor with ice, sleet, rain and strong winds.

Members of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team began searching the Longs Peak area Wednesday morning including Clark’s Arrow, the Boulder Field, North Face, Lamb’s Slide and Peacock Pool. Aerial surveillance also occurred with assistance from Northern Colorado Helitack.

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