2 missing hikers found dead at base of Capitol Peak near Aspen

ASPEN, Colo. – Two missing hikers were found dead at the base of Capitol Peak in White River National Forest Tuesday afternoon, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Crews in a National Guard helicopter spotted the bodies of the two unidentified hikers at the bottom of the north face of the 14,000-foot mountain.

Friends became concerned and contacted authorities Monday morning after the local couple failed to return to Aspen on Sunday as tentatively planned, a Pitkin County press release read.

The sheriff's office said because the couple's plans were somewhat tentative, the urgency to initiate a search was not compelling until Monday evening when the couple had not yet returned.

Early Tuesday morning, crews coordinated search efforts both on the ground and from the air and located the bodies around 2:30 p.m. The Pitkin county Sheriff's Office said the two appeared to have fallen from the summit. 

Authorities have yet to release the identities of the two hikers.

The deaths are the third and fourth on the peak this summer.

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