Vancouver, WA

The bizarre case of Maureen Kelly, the hiker who disappeared in Southern Washington

Akhil Aravind

On June 9, 2013, Maureen Leianuhea Kelly went camping with friends in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and never returned home. She was known by the name ‘Anu’ among her friends.

Maureen was born on September 26, 1993, and was raised by a single mother in Vancouver, Washington. She graduated from Lewis and Clark High School and was a budding singer and songwriter.

According to her friends, the 19-year-old vanished after leaving for a “spiritual quest” in the forest. Around 5 PM on the day of the missing, she stripped naked and wore only a fanny pack carrying a knife, compass, and matches.

But as the time passed, the temperature dropped from the 70s to the 40s and, since Maurine wasn’t wearing clothes, she could have suffered from hypothermia. Fearing this, her friends called the Sheriff’s department when there was no sign of her even after midnight.

On the same day, rescue volunteers and the police tried searching the Canyon Creek area but were covered by thick clouds. They found Maureen's bare footprints that lead investigators to Forest Service 54 road. This made them conclude that she likely crossed the dangerous Canyon Creek.

But the tracks eventually stopped on the paved road - leaving them at a dead end.

Also, Undersheriff Cox said that a researcher could walk on top of somebody rolled under a log unknowingly because of the thick underbrush.

As of now, the police have not recovered Maurine or found out what happened to her. Neither have they recovered her remains.

Sources:

https://allthatsinteresting.com/maureen-kelly

https://disappearedblog.com/maureen-kelly/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Maureen_Kelly

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