Posted: Aug 19, 2013 12:01 AM by MTN News
Updated: Aug 19, 2013 12:02 AM
HELENA - New developments in the Noah Pippin case could have a big impact on the ongoing investigation into the California Guardsman's death.
Pippin's remains were discovered at this time last year after he was reported missing on his way from Michigan to California in September of 2010.
Almost a year later, Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton along with two deputies will be heading back into the Bob Marshall Wilderness on horses to continue the investigation in light of some new evidence.
"We are going back and we're going to find that evidentiary item, we're going to look for any additional bone fragments that we were not able to find, there are still a couple missing," Sheriff Dutton said.
The search team will head to the location Pippin was found along Burnt Creek, which is a two and a half day hike from the South Fork Trail-head.
While the Sheriff refused to share what the item of evidence is, he said, "There is some question about the cause of death. That's the coroner's job. What my job is, is to gather all the evidence to support his conclusion, whatever conclusion he comes up with. This evidence in my opinion is still there and needs to be gathered."
According to previous news reports, searchers recovered Pippin's sleeping bag, water jug, poncho, MP3 player, and a .38 caliber revolver that had two empty bullet casings in it.
In addition they will be searching for the top of Pippin's skull, which was not recovered in last year's search because of time constraints pressed by incoming weather.
Dutton said, "It is evidence that we need to finish the case off. We don't want to leave things behind. We want to make sure that we've gathered it all."
On a Facebook page maintained by Pippin's family, they said that they will be making a trip into the Bob Marshall on August 24th to pay their respects and search for his skull.
Dutton said that in the event he doesn't find it first, according to Montana law, the family must tell him if they discover it because the cause of his death is still an open investigation.