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Mount Rainier search for writer called off

By Faith Karimi and Joe Sutton, CNN
updated 12:39 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Karen Sykes vanished Wednesday while hiking with her partner
  • A body was found in steep terrain in an area where search teams focused
  • Identity of body has not been established

(CNN) -- Authorities called off the Mount Rainier search for hiker Karen Sykes after a body was discovered in the area, but its identity has not been established.

The body was found in steep terrain in the area where rescuers focused during the search for Sykes, 70. Its identity and cause of death are unclear.

The Seattle resident vanished Wednesday while hiking the Owyhigh Lakes Trail with her hiking partner.

They separated in the afternoon and planned to meet at the same location later, but she never returned, Mount Rainier National Park said in a statement. Her hiking partner reported her missing the same night.

Sykes is an outdoor journalist and is considered an experienced hiker.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner will determine the identity of the body, which was discovered off-trail in an area that's hard to access and rarely traveled.

6 missing Mount Rainier climbers believed to have fallen

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