The body of James "Randy" Udall, brother of Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., was found in Wyoming Wednesday, ending a six-day search mission by local authorities.
Randy Udall had been hiking the Wind River Range, which he had traversed several times before, when he did not report back home as expected last week. Udall, an environmentalist, was the son of the late longtime Arizona Rep. Morris Udall and cousin of Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
On Wednesday evening, the Udall family issued a statement confirming Randy's death and thanking the local authorities who had combed a hundreds-of-miles-wide area to find him.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Randy. Randy's body was discovered today by the heroic search and rescue team that worked for days to locate him in a remote area of the Wind River Range of Wyoming," the statement read. "Our family is extremely grateful to Sublette County Sheriff Dave Lankford, his staff, Tip Top Search and Rescue, the United States Forest Service, Wyoming Air National Guard, and all others involved for their tireless efforts over the past several days. Although 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. He appeared to be 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."
Udall was 61 years old.