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Wisconsin surgeon who vanished on a hike found dead near trail, sheriff's office says

Dr. Kelsey A. Musgrove's body was found Sunday afternoon near Potato River Falls. Police said no foul play is suspected in her death.

The body of a 30-year-old Wisconsin surgeon who disappeared on a hike was found near the trail she was last reported to be on, authorities said.

Dr. Kelsey A. Musgrove, a cardiothoracic surgery fellow at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, was reported missing on March 30, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday in a news release.

Authorities in Middleton, where Musgrove is from, alerted the Iron County Sheriff's Office that she failed to return from her hike.

"Her last contact was that she had reached the Potato River Falls in Gurney" on March 26, the release said.

Kelsey Musgrove.
Kelsey Musgrove.Iron County Sheriff's Office

Middleton authorities provided a description of her vehicle to the sheriff’s office with a request to check the Potato River Falls area. 

Deputies found the described vehicle in the parking area at the Falls, prompting an expansive ground, air and water search.

The sheriff's office said the scene and information from her family and friends "lead us to believe she had gone hiking along the Potato River and had not returned to her vehicle.” 

More than two dozen agencies across Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota assisted in the search, which came to an end when her body was located at 11:35 p.m. Sunday "in an area near the Potato River Falls," the sheriff's office said.

“An investigation into the cause of death is ongoing, but no foul play is suspected at this time,” Sheriff Paul Samardick said. 

According to All Trails, Potato River Falls is considered an easy route that takes less than 30 minutes to complete. 

UW Health press secretary Emily Kumlien told NBC News in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague Dr. Kelsey Musgrove.”

“She was recognized by her peers as a great surgeon, an outstanding mentor and an incredibly kind and positive spirit. Our thoughts and condolences are with her friends and family during this difficult time,” the statement continued.

CORRECTION (April 8, 2022, 8:36 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated Dr. Kelsey Musgrove’s age. She was 30, not 26. The article also misspelled her hometown. It is Middleton, Wisconsin, not Middletown.