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Search for three-year old Arden Pepion continues in Glacier County

Search for three-year old Arden Pepion continues in Glacier County
Search for three-year old Arden Pepion continues in Glacier County
Arden Pepion search
Posted at 7:58 AM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 12:36:47-04

BROWNING — The effort to recover the body of three-year-old Arden Pepion southeast of Browning continued on Monday.

She was last seen on Thursday at about 7 p.m. in the vicinity of Joe Show East Road off of US Highway 89.

The rescue effort was formally declared a recovery effort on Saturday.

Officials said at the time that "based on the elements and duration of time that has passed since she was last seen, we have come to realize that it is now a recovery."

At this point, authorities have no indication that Arden was abducted, and are continuing to investigate the circumstances of her disappearance.

Since then, search and rescue personnel have been working around the clock to find the little girl and bring her body home.

“We’ve had some helicopters, drones and things of that nature, divers,” said Blackfeet Nation public information officer James McNeely. “The focus is the river right now.”

Over the weekend, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and irrigation officials redirected river water from the Two Medicine into an irrigation ditch to lower water levels and assist searchers.

“It did divert quite a bit of water and that diversion is about five-to-six miles west of where they're looking so it did help some today (Monday),” he said.

Soldiers and airmen from the Montana National Guard arrived Monday night, bringing more manpower and resources.

“The bad thing about that area is the lack of cell service and radio transmission,” said McNeely. “So we're hoping to get that up within the next day or two so we can have better reception for everyone.”

Around 150 people are currently on-site assisting and McNeely tells MTN News they’re not in need of any more volunteers.

However, they always welcome donations to help those involved in the recovery mission.

If you would like to donate, call Denise Salois at (406) 845-8100 or Mabel Running Fisher at (406) 845-6168 for more information.

NOTE: A Blackfeet official told MTN News that the Montana National Guard was assisting in the search; we have since learned that the Guard is not involved in the effort. A MT National Guard spokesman told MTN that it is actually members of the Civil Air Patrol that are assisting.

Volunteers have set up a "cook shack" for search personnel to get hot food and beverages, thanks to community donations. WATCH:

EXTRA: "cook shack" for search teams