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Family Reacts to Climber's Death


The search continued Monday for two of the missing climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood.

Sunday the body of one of the climbers, Kelly James, was found.

Search crews had remained optimistic even though rough weather had plagued them for days, but that optimism took quite a blow when crews found James' body.

"We are persuaded Kelly has been found," Kelly James' brother, Frank James, said during a press conference Monday.

His body was found 300 feet below in a snow cave.
His family identified him by the initials from a ring on his finger

"We wish these rescue workers godspeed in their ongoing efforts to bring Brian and Jerry down that mountain safely," Frank James said.

It was an emotional day for a family that had been praying for a safe return.

"It's a devastating time for all," Nella June Renfroe, Kelly James' first cousin and a Hearne resident said. "We pray, we just pray a lot."

Renfroe got the dreaded phone call Sunday evening from Kelly's mother.

"She says there's nothing like losing a child, which is the truth, but she has consolation in knowing that he was doing what he enjoyed most," Renfroe said.

The family had been glued to the television for days, hoping the 48-year-old avid climber would come home.
But the good news never came.
Now the family that is dealing with loss is praying and remaining hopeful that the other two climbers will be found alive.

Monday evening authorities in Oregon seemed grim about the prospects of finding two missing climbers alive on Mount Hood.

A sheriff said he hoped rescuers find the men in a snow cave, otherwise searchers will have to start poking in the snow.

Authorities said the two climbers may have headed to a treacherous side of the mountain where climbers have fallen in the past.

Avalanche conditions made it unsafe for ground crews to head that area, but air crews continued to survey the area.


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