Utah Olympian’s missing family members found in Idaho County

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jul 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-27 17:37:38-04

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho — Noelle Pikus-Pace, a Utahn who won a silver medal for skeleton in the Olympics, sent out a plea for help on social media after her brother and three of his children did not return from a camping trip at the expected time Saturday, and officials said the family members were found Sunday afternoon.

According to information from Idaho County officials, 34-year-old Jared Pikus and three of his children–ages 5, 7 and 9– were reported as being overdue Saturday evening, and search and rescue crews located the family around 2 p.m. Sunday.

Officials stated the family’s vehicle and campsite were located in the Gospel Hump area, east of Grangeville, late Saturday night. Two Bear Air out of Whitefish, Montana, was brought in to assist search efforts and used night vision and infrared to search through the night.

Crews spoke with campers who had contact with the family who said the family had been rafting on Moores Lake and were going to walk a ridgeline back to their campsite. Crews focused search efforts on the indicated area.

According to information from officials: “The search was conducted by the Idaho County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Grangeville City Police, Grangeville Mountain Rescue, Idaho County Sheriff’s Posse, US Forest Service, Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game and Two Bear Air.”

The information released did not indicate that any of the family members had been injured but did not offer details about their condition.

Noelle Pikus-Pace posted on her Facebook page asking for prayers for her family after search and rescue found the vehicle but not the family Saturday night. She stated her brother’s wife was at home with the couple’s three other children.

Pikus-Pace won a silver medal for women’s skeleton at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.