Hikers Discover Body of Missing Woman in Rugged Terrain

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — In a startling discovery on Friday, a group of hikers found the body of a woman near Craggy Wash, north of Lake Havasu City. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office later identified her as 46-year-old Melinda Oakeson, who was recently reported missing.

The hikers contacted authorities around 5 p.m. after noticing an individual in an inaccessible part of the terrain. Mohave County Search and Rescue teams were promptly dispatched to the scene. While they ascertained that the person was deceased, challenging conditions characterized by steep and rugged terrain hindered the immediate retrieval of the body.

The initial recovery effort saw a technical rope rescue team from the sheriff’s office try to access the site. But it wasn’t until the following day, with the assistance of a DPS Western Air Rescue helicopter from Kingman, that the body was finally extracted using a long-line method.

Further details revealed that Oakeson had been missing since October 16. A family member, concerned after losing contact with her for an extended period, had filed the missing report. Authorities shared that Oakeson’s driver’s license indicated a Utah address, while she also had a mailing address in Snowflake, Arizona. The same family member noted that Oakeson had been living out of her vehicle for an undetermined duration before her disappearance.

Though the circumstances surrounding her presence at that remote location or the cause of her death remain unclear, the sheriff’s office is expected to provide more details as investigations progress.