Helicopter, Drones Called In To Search For Missing Wyoming Woman

Multiple agencies are searching for Tami L. Sturgeon, 55, a Gillette, Wyoming, woman missing since Saturday afternoon, including using drones and calling in a helicopter.

Andrew Rossi

March 25, 20242 min read

Campbell county sheriff suv
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office is using drones and a helicopter to find a hiker missing since Saturday afternoon in a snow-covered area southeast of Gillette, Wyoming.

Tami L. Sturgeon, 55, was shed hunting with her husband Saturday, but went out again when they were finished after realizing she had misplaced or dropped her cellphone. So, she and her 60-year-old husband started searching for it.

“After hours of searching, she did not return to the side-by-side,” said Campbell County Undersheriff Quinton Reynolds. The husband “ultimately left the area and contacted us because he was concerned that she didn’t return.”

Sturgeon’s husband called the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 6:55 p.m. Saturday and the search has been on — and growing — since.

Drones And Snow

Over a day and a half, the multiple agencies responding to the search have yet to locate Sturgeon, Reynolds said, adding that multiple agencies have responded to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office's request for assistance.

“We have requested the helicopter to come to our area,” he said. “We're still utilizing the Crook County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue. Johnson County and Sheridan County are assisting us, and we still have units out on the scene.”

Several drones have already been deployed, including one from a private resident. Drones have proven enormously helpful to law enforcement officers searching vast areas of Wyoming, especially when equipped with thermal cameras.

The effort to find Sturgeon was complicated and made more urgent by a sudden onslaught of snow starting Saturday and continuing Monday, when a snowstorm covered much of northern Wyoming.

Sturgeon was apparently dressed for cold weather, but she was only carrying a small backpack with limited supplies, Reynolds said, acknowledging that the spring snow has complicated the search effort.

“Due to the weather, it’s been bad timing for us,” Reynolds said.

By Monday morning, conditions had improved enough for more vigorous search efforts to commence.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is available.

Andrew Rossi can be reached at arossi@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter

Andrew Rossi is a features reporter for Cowboy State Daily based in northwest Wyoming. He covers everything from horrible weather and giant pumpkins to dinosaurs, astronomy, and the eccentricities of Yellowstone National Park.