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Butte Coroner identifies hypothermia victim as Helena woman - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Butte Coroner identifies hypothermia victim as Helena woman

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BUTTE - The body of a 34-year-old Butte woman was found Wednesday morning in a rural area southwest of Butte, the apparent victim of exposure to cold weather. 

Butte Coroner Lee LaBreche identified the woman as Nicole Reynolds of Helena.

Reynolds left a residence off of Little Basin Creek Road at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and was reported missing by people at that residence about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“So we responded about 25 members of the Search and Rescue, about five members from the sheriff’s department. We came out and conducted a search, we did not locate the body right away,” said Brad Belke, commander of the I-15/90 Search and Rescue.

Investigators received bad information that Reynolds received a ride into town, but continued the search after learning the information was wrong.

“We conducted more search of a certain area that piqued my interest and we located the body,” Belke said.

Search and Rescue returned to the area to continue the search about 5 a.m. Just after 11 a.m., her body was found just over that ridge east of Little Basin Creek Road.

“Part of the problem was she got lost before the snow came, and so we got two to four inches on top of everything, made it impossible to track,” Belke said.

Belke used his years of experience as a searcher to help him locate her body.

“And you’re looking for things that might draw somebody’s eye, and the lights of MSE are there, and it’s bright and we got a good look at it this morning and I just had it in my head, if you’re here and you want to get someplace warm you’re going to the light, so I was walking to the light,” he said. 

LaBreche said that Reynolds died from hypothermia. No other details have been released. 

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