River Forest hiker found safe after missing 6 days in Montana

Melba VasquezMay 13, 2017

Connelly, who was in Montana visiting family, had originally set out on a hike with her dog but when she never returned, her family grew anxious and reported her missing. ABC FOX Montana's cameras were there to capture the moment Connelly recapped her ordeal.

Connelly's uncle Dan Fioravanti told the Missoulian he got a call from Madeline's mother Laura on Wednesday morning.

Search efforts were ramped up Tuesday for Madeline Connelly, the 25-year-old woman who disappeared while hiking in the Great Bear Wilderness near East Glacier National Park. Family members found her Subaru Outback near a trailhead, but no sign of Connelly. Her auto was found, and rescue teams discovered Connelly's footprints, her dog's paw prints, and bear tracks. Two Bear Air Rescue flew her out, although she had offered to hike out, they said.

She was airlifted by Two Bear Air and Flathead County authorities and then transported to West Glacier to be examined for possible injuries and meet with her parents.

"Police say Connelly is 5'5" tall and weighs 120 pounds.

There is no word on her condition at this time.

She estimates that she hiked about 10 miles a day and at night, she and Mogi slept under trees.

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In an interview with KTMF broadcast on Facebook Live Wednesday, Connelly said she couldn't believe that she and Mogi were able to get out of the wilderness, where she spent seven days in "treacherous weather".

They had no food or shelter and no idea of the rescue efforts. Her dog was was found alive, too.

"I feel like an idiot, honestly", she added.

"She's an experienced outdoorswoman".

"I have zero details, but I spoke to one of her sisters", Maychruk said.

Madeline's sisters have joined other relatives at the family's River Forest home keeping tabs on the search. "They have the helicopters", Maeve said.

A vigil was held Monday night at St. Luke Parish in River Forest, Illinois.

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