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Campbell County coroner: Gillette woman’s death result of hypothermia

(County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Autopsy results indicated a Gillette woman whose body was found south of Gillette last week died of hypothermia, according to the Campbell County Coroner’s Office. 

Tami L. Sturgeon, 55, reportedly died of hypothermia, Campbell County Coroner Paul Wallem told reporters April 2, adding that a recent autopsy ruled out the likelihood of foul play and indicated she did not suffer any serious medical events before her death. 

Sturgeon was found at the end of a five-day search that drew personnel from surrounding counties and agencies following her disappearance south of Bishop Road on March 23, according to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office. 

The 55-year-old Gillette woman had been shed hunting in the area with her 60-year-old husband. The two of them became separated when they left their side-by-side to search for Sturgeon’s lost phone on foot. Her husband returned to their vehicle and set out to look for her when she didn’t return, ultimately contacting authorities when he couldn’t find her. 

Over the next several days, personnel from surrounding counties and multiple departments searched the area Sturgeon was last seen, relying on foot searches, drones, a helicopter and a K-9, per the sheriff’s office, which refrained from declaring the search a recovery effort rather than a rescue. 

Sturgeon’s body was found on March 28 shortly after searchers switched their approach to a meticulous grid search that turned up a cigarette butt and gloves, bringing the multi-agency search effort to an end.

Clarification (4/3/24): Campbell County Coroner Paul Wallem clarified on April 3 that accidental is a manner of death while hypothermia is the actual cause. The story has been updated to reflect the clarification.