AP: Hikers found dead in Alaska identified as Columbia residents

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Two hikers found dead in Alaska have been identified as Columbia residents.
The National Park Service said bodies matching the description of the hikers reported missing in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park last week were recovered Monday along the Sanford River.

The park service tentatively identified the two as Rochelle Renken and Michael Huffman, both 62.

Robert Hemmelgarn with the Missouri Department of Conservation told ABC 17 News they worked with the department.

“Both Mike Huffman and Rochelle Renken were retired from the Missouri Department of Conservation with Mike Huffman’s last position being Division Chief of the MDC Outreach and Education Division and Rochelle Renken’s as being the Resource Science Division Field Chief," Hemmelgarn said. "On behalf of MDC, we offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to their families and friends.”

The park service said they were experienced backpackers. The bodies were sent to the state medical examiner for positive identification.

Evidence reveals the pair may have attempted to cross the river, but were swept away by the current.

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