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ND backcountry hiker, 42, found dead near Yellowstone National Park


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont.  -- A 42-year-old Bismarck hiker was found dead in the West Yellowstone area on the fringes of Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday morning.

Montana authorities had been searching since Sunday night for Mike Petersen, who failed to show up at a designated rendezvous point, according to a press release from the Gallatin County  (Montana) Sheriff's Office.

The cause of death has not yet been determined. Capt. Jason Jarrett said it had the "markings of a drowning," since Petersen was found in a river that he would have needed to cross on his hike.

Petersen was hiking in the Beaver Creek area, which he had visited several times in the past four months, and had considerable backcountry experience, according to the sheriff's office. He also had survival equipment and the ability to signal for help.

His body was recovered by Gallatin County Search and Rescue with the help of a K-9 dog. Authorities also searched for Petersen with helicopters.