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Glacier officials investigate missing Kalispell man's death

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Jul 13 2013 06:13:55 PM MDT
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. -

Twenty-five year old Cody Lee Johnson was last seen Sunday getting into a car with unidentified friends. On Friday morning, he was found dead below The Loop on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. After park rangers discovered Johnson's body, reaching him proved challenging.

"Very steep area, very treacherous, full of rocks. We needed to do a little bit more than just recover the body but we did use Parks Canada to help with that," said Glacier's Denise Germann.

Germann told NBC Montana it's a priority to keep park staff and authorities safe during all rescue and recovery missions. Parks Canada brought in a helicopter and short-haul rescue team to assist several other area agencies.

"The city police, Kalispell, helped as well as the FBI and the Flathead County Sheriff's Office," Germann explained.

The recovery of Johnson's body marks the third death in Glacier this summer. Cesar Flores of Florida died Tuesday while climbing Apikuni Mountain. In late June, Charles Hueseman of Washington slipped and fell to his death hiking the Highline Trail, which was closed to visitors at the time.

Folks said its not stopping them from going on hikes, but it's a constant reminder to stay safe and be prepared.

"People that are doing the hiking should consider safety because they're the ones that are hiking trails that aren't open or they don't carry bear spray or some of the important things for hiking," said Fred Bender of Kila.

Johnson's body was transported to a local funeral home where an autopsy will be performed. Park officials continue to investigate his death.