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Remains of Idaho hunter missing for 53 years found by another hunter

Raymond Jones went missing while bow hunting in September 1968 and was never seen again. Another bow hunter found his remains last week near the city of Salmon.

The remains of a hunter who disappeared more than half a century ago in the wilds of Idaho were discovered by another hunter Friday, officials announced.

Raymond Jones, 39, was last seen on Sept. 7, 1968, while bow hunting mountain goats near the east fork of Hayden Creek near the city of Salmon, about 160 miles northwest of Idaho Falls.

His remains were found on Sept. 17, 2021, 53 years later — by another man who was bow hunting mountain goats.

Lemhi County Sheriff Steven Penner told NBC News his office received a report from the bow hunter of remains found Friday afternoon but said his deputies were not able to recover the remains until Saturday morning.

An ID was still intact in a wallet found with the remains, identifying them as those of Jones.

"It's a real rocky, cliffy area, and we are not really sure what happened," Penner said. "He was in goat country, and that can be pretty perilous."

Jones was declared dead in 1970, Penner said, and his family no longer lives in Salmon, where he lived in 1968.

"The family will claim, and he will be turned over to them," Penner said. "It is still pretty fresh, so they probably need a little bit of time to figure things out."

Over 70 people, a dog and a helicopter helped search for Jones in 1968, but snowy weather eventually called off the search, according to an archived Associated Press article published by East Idaho News.