'It's pretty wild': Idaho hunter finds remains of man missing for 53 years

An Idaho bow hunter who was looking for a shortcut instead found the remains of another hunter who had been missing for 53 years.

Raymond Jones was 39 years old when he was last seen on Sept. 7, 1968, while bow hunting for mountain goats in central Idaho’s Lemhi County, EastIdahoNews.com reported. Searches were unsuccessful, and Jones’ remains went unfound until Friday when another bow hunter stumbled across them.

The hunter called the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office to report the discovery. He was in the same area where Jones had disappeared half a century ago.

"The hunter was seeking a shortcut from one hunting area to another when he found human remains and then contacted the sheriff’s office," said Sheriff Steve Penner. "Due to the lack of remaining daylight and ruggedness of the terrain, recovery efforts began on the morning of the 18."

Sheriff’s deputies found part of Jones’ wallet, with his identification still inside. Jones’ family members are still alive and have been contacted, Penner said.

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Scenic view of Salmon River and Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley Idaho

FILE - A scenic view of the Salmon River and Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley, Idaho. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

An Associated Press story from Sept. 15, 1968, detailed Jones’ disappearance and the subsequent search.

"There were some other hunters in camp but he was by himself when he disappeared," Penner said.

A search was launched the day after Jones vanished, including more than 70 people and aircraft support. Efforts were temporarily called off because of severe snowy weather but later resumed after footprints were discovered on a nearby ridge. Still, the search was ultimately unsuccessful, leaving Jones’ body unrecovered until now.

"It’s pretty wild, ain’t it? You have another bowhunter looking for a shortcut who stumbled upon a bowhunter from 53 years ago," Penner said.

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