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Remains of missing woman found in Highland Mountains near Butte

Search underway for woman missing in Highland Mountains outside Butte
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Posted at 6:24 PM, May 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 10:03:00-04

UPDATE - 6:35 a.m. - May 9, 2022

Butte Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester has confirmed that search dogs found the remains of Deidra Lufkins on Sunday afternoon.

Lufkins was reported to Butte Police as missing after becoming separated from her party near the Highlands Campground on Thursday or Friday.

An initial investigation found that Lufkins died as a result of hypothermia. The investigation is ongoing.

“This search didn’t end like we hoped it would but I can’t say enough about the efforts of 15-90 Search and Rescue, Elkhorn K9 Search and Rescue, and True North Search Dogs. These folks are all volunteers and they respond quickly every single time we call. Their dedication and expertise is unbelievable,” Sheriff Lester said in a media release. "Our thoughts are with Deidra’s family.”

The search dogs were from Elkhorn K9 Search and Rescue and True North Search Dogs. 15-90 Search and Rescue assisted Butte Police in the recovery of the remains, which were located in rugged terrain in the Highland Mountains.

Lufkins's body will be taken to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for an autopsy and toxicology testing.

No further details were available. We will update you if we get more information.

(second report: 9:30 a.m. - May 8, 2022)

Butte Police and 15-90 Search and Rescue are continuing the search for a 30-year-old woman who was reported missing early Saturday in the area of the Highlands Campground, south of Butte in the Highland Mountains.

The woman has been identified as Deidra Lufkins of South Dakota. Lufkins is described as a Native American who is 5’ 9” tall and weighs 150 pounds.

Lufkins was separated from two men she was with on either Thursday or Friday evening. She was on foot when last seen.

She was not dressed for the recent weather conditions in the area.

15-90 Search and Rescue has conducted an extensive ground search of the area where Lufkins was last seen.

Anyone who was in this area who may have seen Lufkins is asked to call Butte Police at 497-1120.

The search will continue on Sunday with a continued ground search. A specialized drone will also be used in the search.

(first report - 2:21 p.m. - May 8, 2021)

Butte 15-90 Search and Rescue is looking for a woman who has been lost in the Highland Mountains south of Butte since Thursday afternoon.

The woman, who is from North Dakota, was with two other men in the Highlands when their car got stuck Thursday.

The trio walked around seeking help when the woman got separated from the group.

The two men were found after midnight Saturday by the search team near Moose Creek Road. The search continues for the woman.

No other details have been released at this point.

We will update you if we get more information.