Brother of Colorado senator Mark Udall found dead in remote Wyoming mountain range after week long search
- Environmentalist Randy Udall, 61, had been missing since June 20
- Left for a solo hike in the state’s Wind River Range
- Udall was an experienced backpacker and had been on several solo hikes to the area in the past
After a week long search, the brother of U.S. Senator Mark Udall has been found dead.
James ‘Randy’ Udall, 61, had left June 20 for a weeklong solo backpacking trip, setting off from a trailhead 10 miles northwest of Pinedale, Wyoming.
Search and rescue teams in western Wyoming’s Wind River Range released the grave news through the family Wednesday night
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Senator Mark Udall’s (right) brother Randy Udall (left) is missing after a solo hike in the Rocky Mountains
The Wind River Range runs for about 100 miles and includes Gannett Peak, the highest in Wyoming.
Flyers had been distributed and search and rescue teams combed the area both on the ground and by helicopter.
The family said that while an autopsy is forthcoming, it appears he died of natural causes.
‘Randy left this earth doing what he loved most: hiking in his most favorite mountain range in the world,’ the family said in statement.
He had told his wife and indicated on a sign-in sheet at the trailhead that he planned to head for the scenic Titcomb Basin.
The family said Wednesday it appeared he was on the obscure, off-trail route that he had proposed to his family.
‘The entire Udall family is touched beyond words by the tremendous outpouring of support from people around the country. Randy’s passing is a reminder to all of us to live every day to its fullest, just as he did,’ they said.
The Udalls have a long, illustrious history as politicians in Western states.
In addition to brother Mark’s high political standing, Randy’s cousin Tom Udall is the senior U.S. Senator from New Mexico and cousin Gordon Smith was a U.S. Senator from Oregon until 2008.
Randy Udall was an environmentalist and energy efficiency advocate whose family has been active in politics.
Randy Udall helped found the nonprofit Community Office for Resource Energy Efficiency, which promotes the use of renewable energy in the Aspen, Colo., area.
Udall was discovered in a remote area of the Wind River Range, according to Sublette County Sheriff Dave Lankford.