Missing Marine's Remains Identified

Noah Pippin as a Marine in 2003. (Courtesy: Pippin Family)
Noah Pippin as a Marine in 2003. (Courtesy: Pippin Family)

UPDATE: August 28, 2012

Almost two years after he was last seen in the Montana wilderness, it seems we know what happened to a young man named Noah Pippin. According to a Facebook page set up by his family, a recent search of the Bob Marshall wilderness this summer uncovered his remains.

As we reported earlier, Noah Pippin was last seen near “The Chinese Wall, a limestone formation that is more than 1,000 feet tall and stretches for 12 miles along the Continental Divide.

His mother and father, Rosalie and Mike went to Montana earlier this month, when that area was searched for the first time since Noah disappeared. After Noah was last seen by a Montana couple that was also hiking in that area, his father says it seems Noah took a gamble to go off trail along the wall. Then an early winter storm hit and he was trapped. Noah was a several-days hike from civilization and it appears he froze to death. Mike says he must have known what was happening because he placed a photo of his parents on top of the sleeping bag he was in.

"So what can we say? Our dear son and friend has slipped into eternity," Mike wrote on Facebook. "We are heartbroken, yet thankful to God. Finding his remains was A MIRACLE."

A funeral service for Noah Pippin will be held this fall in Traverse City, Michigan where his parents live.


August 13, 2012

It's been nearly two years since he went missing in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. Noah's parents Mike and Rosalie and Noah's brother Caleb are in Montana now and authorities are scheduled to enter the area, known as "The Bob" to search for Noah this week. Rosalie is updating the story on the Facebook page the Pippins set up after Noah vanished.

This weekend the Pippins met Vern and Donelle Kersey first time. The Kerseys were among the last people to see Noah when they were also hiking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in 2010. According to Rosalie, Vern plans to join the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Department for the new search. It's supposed to begin on Wednesday.

Noah Pippin was last seen near "The Chinese Wall." It’s an incredible limestone formation that is more than 1,000 feet tall and stretches for 12 miles along the Continental Divide. When the Kerseys saw Noah Pippin on that September day two years ago he told them he had hiked to that spot from Hungry Horse, Montana, a town that was at least 100 miles away. He said he had been on the trail for 13 days.

This program aired on August 29, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Alex Ashlock Twitter Producer, Here & Now
Alex Ashlock has been a producer for Here & Now since 2005. He started his WBUR career as senior producer of Morning Edition in 1998.

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