This photo released by the Sublette County Sheriffs Office shows James Randy Udall, the brother of Colorado Sen. Mark Udall and the son of the late 15-term congressman and Interior Secretary Morris Udall, who went missing after a solo backpacking trip last week. Searchers on Tuesday July 2, 2013 were looking for signs of him over a 225 square mile area, the same region theyve been searching since Friday. (AP Photo/Sublette County Sheriff)
Updated: July 4, 2013 9:09AM
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Teams looking for the brother of Colorado Sen. Mark Udall in western Wyoming’s Wind River Range have found his body, the family said Wednesday night.
James “Randy” Udall, 61, had left June 20 for a weeklong solo backpacking trip, setting off from a trailhead 10 miles northwest of Pinedale. He was due back a week ago.
An aerial team spotted Udall’s body on its side, in open, rolling terrain Wednesday afternoon, Sublette County sheriff’s officials said. The body was taken to Pinedale.
Mark Udall’s office released a statement from the family saying that while an autopsy is forthcoming, it appears he died of natural causes.
“Randy left this earth doing what he loved most: hiking in his most favorite mountain range in the world,” the family said.
He had told his wife and indicated on a sign-in sheet at the trailhead that he planned to head for the scenic Titcomb Basin.
The family said Wednesday it appeared he was on the obscure, off-trail route that he had proposed to his family.
“The entire Udall family is touched beyond words by the tremendous outpouring of support from people around the country. Randy’s passing is a reminder to all of us to live every day to its fullest, just as he did,” they said.
Randy Udall was an environmentalist and energy efficiency advocate whose family has been active in politics.
New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall is a cousin. His uncle, Stewart Udall, was interior secretary in the 1960s. His father was the late U.S. Rep. Morris “Mo” Udall of Arizona.
Randy Udall helped found the nonprofit Community Office for Resource Energy Efficiency, which promotes the use of renewable energy in the Aspen, Colo., area.