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Breaking: Missing Gillette woman found dead near ravine; autopsy set for April 1

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A Gillette woman who went missing last week was found dead Thursday afternoon, concluding a multi-agency search and rescue effort spanning several days, according to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office. 

Tami L. Sturgeon, 55, was found dead on March 28 approximately 1.8 miles from where she was first reported missing south of Bishop Road, per the sheriff’s office, approximately five days after she disappeared while searching for a lost cellphone following a shed hunting trip with her 60-year-old husband. 

For several days, search and rescue personnel have concentrated primarily on fast-paced searches focused on likely destinations Sturgeon could have been heading for. Thursday morning, however, the approach shifted to a meticulous and methodical grid search which ultimately uncovered a cigarette butt and gloves before the 55-year-old woman’s body was found near a ravine, according to the sheriff’s office. 

As of the latest update sent at 8:24 p.m., no foul play is suspected and the Campbell County Coroner’s Office will ultimately determine the cause as well as the manner of death with an autopsy scheduled for Monday, April 1. 

“Our deepest condolences go out to the Sturgeon family,” the update states, thanking the multiple agencies that responded to aid in the search including Crook, Johnson, Sheridan, Weston, Washakie, and Natrona counties, as well as Ellsworth Airforce Base in South Dakota. 

Sturgeon was first reported missing on March 23 by her husband, who told emergency personnel that they had taken a side-by-side to look for a shed matching one they had located south of Bishop Road earlier this year. 

While in the area, Sturgeon reportedly misplaced her phone and set out on foot with her husband to find it. The device would later be located in their side-by-side, but at the time Sturgeon and her husband became separated while searching for it on foot. 

Her husband returned to their side-by-side to wait for her and set out to find her when she didn’t return. Failing to locate his wife, the man called the sheriff’s office for help. 

Sturgeon’s disappearance sparked a multi-day search and rescue effort spanning the better part of a week, with personnel continuing the search despite challenges presented by fast-changing weather conditions, previous sheriff’s office updates state. 

Over several days, search personnel employed thermal imaging, drones, helicopters and canines in a coordinated effort spanning multiple sheriff’s office departments and outside agencies to locate Sturgeon.