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Reports: Montana authorities searching for missing Utah hiker

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Aug 14th, 2019 @ 12:03pm

HAMILTON, Montana — Authorities are searching for a Utah man who went missing in the Bitterroot Mountains of southwest Montana, according to news reports and family members.

Kaden Laga, 25, went missing Sunday in the Twin Lakes area of Ravalli County, Montana, which is located south of Missoula on the Montana-Idaho border. He became separated from his family about 3 p.m. Sunday, according to NBC Montana.

News reports indicate Laga is from Utah, and his Facebook states that he lives in Provo.

Laga was riding horseback with his father and siblings when one of the horses went lame, his mother, Debbie Laga, told NBC Montana on Tuesday. The group made plans to meet at a trailhead later in the day, but Kaden did not return, Debbie Laga said.

The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office is searching for Laga with the help of the National Guard, Sheriff Steve Holton told NBC Montana. KSL.com tried to contact the sheriff, but he had not returned our call as of Wednesday morning.

“We feel so much peace that we will find him safe,” Kaden’s wife, Arden Laga, said Tuesday in a Facebook post. “We have so much help and so many people on standby. Almost all of his immediate family members are here now in Montana and we are just trying to get sleep so we can function better.”

She added that search and rescue crews, firefighters, helicopters and local volunteers also were helping to search for Laga.

His family was providing updates on the search via a Facebook page.

About 4 p.m., a family member posted to the page and said hounds that had been searching for Laga since early Wednesday morning had picked up his scent.

“What this means for us that it has narrowed our search quite a bit tomorrow when we are out there in the bush because now we know what direction he went,” the post stated.

Contributing: Lauren Bennett, KSL.com

Editor's Note: This story initially stated Laga was 20, but a family member later confirmed he is 25. The story has been updated to correct that information.

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