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Officials identify hiker found dead after apparent fall at Red River Gorge

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Posted at 8:13 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 12:12:26-04

POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A search and rescue mission ended in tragedy Monday after a missing hiker was found dead at Red River Gorge after an apparent fall.

Powell County Search and Rescue said 24-year-old Gabriella "Gabby" Smith, of Alexandria, Ky., slipped and fell from a roughly 150-foot ledge while hiking alone near the Auxier Ridge trail area.

Officials were alerted that Smith, a medical student at the University of Kentucky, might be in danger when she left for the hike Monday afternoon and did not return.

Search and rescue members were able to ping Smith's phone to get her last known location to get GPS coordinates before searching the Auxier Ridge area with the help of the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team and the Tri-Community Fire Department.