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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

Searchers locate missing family of Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace

By Jasen Lee, Deseret News

Published: Sun, July 27 6:52 p.m. MDT

 Noelle Pikus Pace, center, watches an event at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games with her brother Jared Pikus, left., in February. He, along with three of his young children, were found safe Sunday by search and rescue crews who were combing the Idaho wilderness after they went missing during a weekend camping trip.

Noelle Pikus Pace, center, watches an event at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games with her brother Jared Pikus, left., in February. He, along with three of his young children, were found safe Sunday by search and rescue crews who were combing the Idaho wilderness after they went missing during a weekend camping trip.

(Facebook)

SALT LAKE CITY — The brother of Utah Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace and three of his young children who were missing overnight in the Idaho wilderness were found Sunday afternoon.

Search and rescue crews spent hours Sunday scouring a remote area in the northern Idaho mountains for Dr. Jared Pikus and his children after they failed to return from a camping trip Saturday night.

Pikus-Pace, of Eagle Mountain, asked friends on her Facebook page to pray for the family after searchers located their vehicle. "His wife is at home with their other three kids, including a very new baby. Please say a prayer for them and those looking for them!" she wrote.

The four family members were camping in the Gospel Lakes area near Grangeville when they hiked down to Moores Lake, just a couple of miles away, said Idaho County sheriff's dispatcher Nicole Rotella. The family was expected to return home Saturday evening, but had not been heard from since about 1 p.m. Saturday when they encountered a few other campers at Moores Lake.

"They were lost, hiked and found a road, and were walking along it when someone found them," Pikus-Pace posted on Facebook. "Miracles happen!"

Officials described the area as remote and rocky with numerous cliff sections to navigate, making searching the terrain particularly challenging for hikers and rescuers. Crews used helicopters to comb the area in addition to teams comprised of more than 20 people in the search effort.

The family's vehicle was discovered near a campsite approximately two miles from where they were last seen. The area is a popular destination for campers this time of year, Rotella said.

GeGe Pikus, Jared Pikus' sister-in-law who lives in Saratoga Springs, said the extended family was very concerned about the safety of the family, especially the young kids all under the age of 12.

"It's such a remote part of Idaho that there aren't many people up there," she said.

Jared Pikus is a family practice physician in Cottonwood, Idaho. His sister, Pikus-Pace, won the silver medal in women's skeleton at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games earlier this year.

E-mail: jlee@deseretnews.com, Twitter: JasenLee1

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1. bjdoc
Boise, Idaho,
July 30, 2014

This story reminds me of a farmer who sustained a broken leg on Saturday evening anticipating the harvest of his wheat crop on monday morning. The entire Stake mobilized, canceled church to help him, every farmer with a combine showed up and thousands of acres of crop was saved by working together. This must have happened 50 years ago.