SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The best chance to find the remains of two hikers presumed to have become lost and died in the Uintas may not come until the snow melts later this spring.
Despite the hundreds of inches of snow that cover the area, Summit County sheriff's officers continued the search for Carole Wetherton, 58, of Panacea, Fla., and her daughter, Kimberly Beverly, 39, of Tucker, Ga., who were last seen Sept. 9 in Park City.
Sheriff's Deputy Jim Snyder said a helicopter was used in January to look for concentrations of coyote tracks.
Coyotes feast on small mammals and reptiles during the warm months, and often feed on carrion during the winter.
"When winters are harsh, like they are in that area, they're a pretty good clue of where to look to find something dead," Snyder said.
The coyotes led the searchers to several animal carcasses, "but we didn't find what we were looking for," Snyder said.
Deputies may try again later in the season. If that trip doesn't find anything, Snyder said, the women's bodies might be found when the area once again is being regularly hiked, starting about May.
However, Snyder said it is possible the missing women may never be found.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)