Kelsey Musgrove, a 26-year-old Wisconsin doctor, was found dead on a hiking trail one week after being reported missing. The woman’s body was mysteriously recovered at Potato River Falls in Iron County near a waterfall, where the investigation remains ongoing.
Her last contact with friends and family was reportedly back on Saturday, March 26, before the Wisconsin doctor went out on a hike and did not return. Local deputies later found her vehicle in a Potato River Falls parking lot and began a 25-man search that uncovered her body this past Sunday.
“All indications at the scene and information from family and friends lead us to believe she had gone hiking along Potato River and had not returned to her vehicle,” Iron County Sheriff Paul Samardich said in an official press release.
According to police, foul play is not suspected. A cause of death hasn’t been released by authorities. “We would like to express our sincere condolences to Kelsey’s family,” the Iron County sheriff’s office stated.
Kelsey Aleen Musgrove was a cardiothoracic surgery health fellow at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health, according to the university’s directory.
The Potato River Falls hiking trail was over four hours from her hometown in Middleton, Wisconsin. Her last communication with family confirmed that she reached the hiking route safely, but she never returned home. According to All Trails, the Potato River Falls hiking trail takes only about 30 minutes to complete, and is considered an easy route with views of a 90-foot waterfall.
University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Public Health press secretary Emily Kumlien told NBC News that “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague Dr. Kelsey Musgrove.”
“She was recognized by her peers as a great surgeon, an outstanding mentor and an incredibly kind and positive spirit,” she continued. “Our thoughts and condolences are with her friends and family during this difficult time.”
Other tributes to Kelsey from friends and loved ones came in over social media, including fellow doctors and former hiking partners.
Sara Grossi, a close friend, said that she “could always cheer her up no matter how big the problem,” adding that pistachio ice cream was the biggest way to the Wisconsin doctor’s heart.
“I can’t fix this with a few scoops this time but I can keep loving her even though she’s not here to lay under the stars with me anymore and guess constellations,” her friend wrote on Facebook. “We’ll meet again one day in those stars and awkwardly wink at one another and laugh.”
Jad Sattar, another close loved one, wrote “I love you Kelsey. Forever and always. Until we meet again.”
According to the Daily Mail, Kelsey Musgrove often posted photos of herself on hiking trails and was raising money for MS research. Before her passing, she raised over $8,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Aaron Zachary, a former colleague, said that Kelsey Musgrove was “one of the kindest and most positive residents I’ve had the privilege of working with,” and that “she was well on her way to becoming a great surgeon.”
“She’s gone way too soon and had so much more life to live,” her colleague continued. “May we all remember the kindness she showed us and strive to be great and kind the way she was.”