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Search launched for missing Great Falls teen at Lake Elwell

Posted at 9:01 AM, Jun 17, 2024

GREAT FALLS — A search is underway at Lake Elwell for a missing 17-year-old girl from Great Falls.

The Toole County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that the teen was one of our people who reportedly had been paddle-boarding at the lake on Saturday afternoon.

Sheriff Tyler Padilla said his agency received a 911 text message at about 1:30 p.m. with a location ping at the north point of Turner Road off of Lake Elwell.

Investigators learned that the four people were paddleboarding across the lake when the weather got bad, with winds of up to 40 mph and waves reaching five feet.

The group got separated and a female made it to the north point of Turner Road, and she told officers that the other three were unaccounted for due to them trying to swim back to North Bootlegger.

One of the missing people was found a few minutes later at the Turner Road location.

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At about 2:30 p.m., searchers found another person in the water wearing a life jacket, calling for help. The searchers were able to recover the male at about 3:10 p.m.

As of Saturday evening, the 17-year-old girl was still missing. She was wearing a red and black swimsuit. No other details about her, including her name, have been released at this point.

Deputies from the Toole County Sheriff's Office and the Liberty County Sheriff's Office - along with personnel from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks - are continuing the search on the ground and in the water.

In addition, a Two Bear Air helicopter has been requested from Kalispell to assist in the search.

Anyone with information about the missing teen is asked to call the Toole County Sheriff's Office at 406-434-5585, or call 911.

lake elwell map