Blaine County Sheriff looking for lost hiker north of Ketchum

Posted at 1:35 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 15:40:29-04

BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho — Blaine County Sheriff Search and Rescue (BCSAR) are looking for a loss hiker in the Prairie Peak area, north of Ketchum. Fern L. Baird, age 63 of Park City, Utah signed in at the Prairie Creek Trailhead on October 19 around 1 p.m. and has not returned.

A news release from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) says early winter conditions have challenged the search with below-freezing temperatures and mountain snow covering the ground.

BCSAR and BCSO deputies starting searching for Fern on October 22 after being notified she was missing. Her 2018 Subaru Crosstrek was found in the Prairie Creek parking area. From the trailhead, there are several hike options Fern could have taken.

The release says the search has focused on the Prairie Lakes, Minor Lakes, Norton Lakes and Mill lake at elevations from 7,100 to 9,200 feet. The search has included three K9 search teams, several Idaho National Guard helicopters, two drones and people on food, motorcycles and horseback.

“We are continuing to seek information from the public,” said Sheriff Steve Harkins. “We are interested in speaking with an unknown Boise couple and also a party of five hikers from Tulsa, Oklahoma that both hiked either the West Fork drainage of Prairie Creek or to Prairie Lake on October 19, 2020. These individuals may have information or saw Baird hiking that day,” added Harkins.

Fern Baird is around 5'5" and weighs 115 pounds. She was last seen wearing a grey jacket, black pants and carrying a black fanny pack. Fern is an experienced hiker but is not known to do technical hikes or mountaineering. BCSO says she does not have a dog.

If you have seen Baird or have any information, contact BCSO Lt. Mike Abaid at 208-578-3371 or email Fern's family is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to her return.