Searchers find body of missing woman

Members of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office search and rescue team found the body of a woman missing since Monday about 1.5 miles southwest of her parked car just off southbound Interstate 17 near the Munds Park overlook.

At noon on Wednesday, searchers using a specially trained scent dog found Tanya Morris' body completely covered in snow about 100 feet from where her shoes were found Tuesday, said Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

Morris' boyfriend was there with searchers, and her family arrived about 30 minutes after her body was found, D'Evelyn said.

Morris, 39, disappeared after calling a friend about 6 p.m. Monday to say she was taking her dog Max on a walk and then heading home, D'Evelyn said. Family members called the Coconino County Sheriff's Office to report her missing Monday.

Morris' car was found a 30-minute drive away from her Flagstaff home.

"Coconino County deputies had heard Morris liked to scout for antlers and that might explain why she was out there with her dog," D'Evelyn said.

Coconino County Sheriff's deputies and rescue personnel began an extensive search after Morris' car was found, D'Evelyn said.

Late Tuesday, Morris' dog Max and some of Morris' clothing was found about 1.5 miles southwest of her car. Since that area was just within Yavapai County boundaries, Yavapai County Forest Patrol deputies, along with several Yavapai County Sheriff's Office search and rescue units, led the rescue efforts from that point, D'Evelyn said. Coconino County deputies assisted searchers throughout the morning.

The exact cause of Morris' death is under investigation, although exposure to the severely cold weather may have been a factor, said D'Evelyn, who added there is no evidence of foul play in her death.

"There have been instances of people becoming disoriented from hypothermia and shedding clothing, so that's something we're looking at," D'Evelyn said. "But we're just not sure if that was involved here."

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