Calli Aust Sheridan Wyoming woman falls 200 ft to her death while hiking with husband along Steamboat Point at Bighorn Mountains to see sunrise. No foul play believed.
The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday’s fatal incident in a press release, identifying the victim as Calli Aust, of Sheridan.
Aust was on a planned hike with her husband to see the sunrise from the top of Steamboat Point when she fell more than 200 feet, according to authorities.
Steamboat Point is an abandoned fire lookout located in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, the Sheridan Press reported. AFAR magazine considers the spot to be the ‘most frequently photographed natural attraction in the mountains.’
The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to the scene around 5:50 a.m. after receiving a call from Aust’s husband reporting that he was unable to find his wife following her fall.
No safety measures in place
Police also noted that ‘due to poor cellphone service, the exact location of the victim was unknown at the time of the 911 call.’
In addition to the Sheriff’s Office, the Sheridan County Search and Rescue, Dayton Fire-Rescue, Rocky Mountain Ambulance, Sheridan Fire-Rescue, Wyoming Highway Patrol and life flight all responded to the scene around 6:30 a.m. to help search for Aust, the press release stated.
It took officials about 45 minutes of searching to locate Aust’s body at the base of the southwest side of Steamboat Point at 7:15 a.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following the discovery, the Bighorn National Forest Service was called in to assist with recovery efforts while an investigation was launched by the Forest Service, the Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Highway Patrol people reported.
The Sheridan County Coroner’s Office is also conducting a concurrent investigation.
At this time, authorities do not believe foul play was involved and are considering Aust’s death to be accidental. It continued to remain unclear how Calli Aust fell over the mountainside cliff.
Bighorn National Forest’s Public Affairs Officer Sara Kirol has since urged people to be careful when hiking, especially at high, steep locations like Steamboat Point, which she said has no safety measures in place.
‘It is not a safe barrier, but merely a remnant of the lookout tower,’ Kirol told The Sheridan Press.
‘Cliff edges are unstable and there are a lot of loose rocks on the top of these high places,’ Kirol added. ‘Standing or sitting near or on the edge of cliff faces is very risky, no matter the location.’
It remained unclear why safety measures were not installed…