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Missing hiker found

KARA MOORE

MARQUETTE — After a five-day search, missing hiker Kara Moore of Milwaukee walked off a trail and into Little Beaver Campground Wednesday afternoon.

Moore, 55, went missing Friday evening while hiking with her family on the Little Beaver Lake Trail in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Moore, who suffered a brain injury as a teenager that left her with short-term memory loss, reportedly walked into the campground at about 1:30 p.m. and started chatting with park rangers, said Susan Reece, chief of interpretation and education at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

“She says she woke up in the morning, her family wasn’t there, so she walked down the trail,” Reece said.

Moore was OK for having been missing for nearly five days, Reece said. But due to Moore’s short-term memory loss, they may never find out what happened during that time.

“She doesn’t (seem to) know what happened,” Reece said. “Maybe she won’t have lasting memories, maybe she wasn’t even afraid, we don’t know. … But she was talkative and friendly to the folks who saw her and thankfully asked what her name was.”

Moore was being evaluated Wednesday at the Munising Memorial Hospital.

For the family, there were “lots of tears,” Reece said.

Reece said the NPS is reaching out to Moore and her family today for updates.

“I think we kind of shared everybody’s shock and amazement and joy that she was found and found OK (after) 117 hours,” Reece said.

She did seem hungry, if unaware of the time that passed, Reece said.

“They gave her food and water, and she did quickly eat a sandwich,” Reece said. “One of the rangers offered her some beef jerky. She said, no, she doesn’t eat junk food.”

Teams of bloodhound units that were enroute from lower Michigan turned around Wednesday as the search was called off.

Numerous agencies participated in the search, including the NPS, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Alger County Sheriff’s Department, Alger County Rescue 21, Michigan State Police canine and helicopter units, the U.S. Forest Service, a tactical tracking team from the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Police, and Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue.

Mary Wardell can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is mwardell@miningjournal.net.