Slain hikers’ family calls women passionate, dedicated

SEATTLE – The family of Mary Cooper and Susanna Stodden, killed on Lake Pinnacle Trail Tuesday, have issued the following statement about their loved ones:

“In a time of shock and grief, we would like to focus on the tremendous positive legacy left by this extraordinary mother and daughter.

“As a librarian, teacher, activist, neighbor, friend, and mother, Mary touched the lives of countless people. Susanna was dedicated to nurturing positive relationships between children and the natural world, and her commitment to peace was evident in her compassionate nature.

“Like her mother, she lived her life in service to what she believed. Passion for the outdoors was intrinsic to their lives, and family trips to the Cascades were a weekly occurrance. Susanna’s little sisters, Elisa, 24, and Joanna, 21, follow in her footsteps and also teach and study environmental education.

“Husband and father, David Stodden, and the commnuity left by these two amazing women, wish to express their gratuitude for the support and love offered on behalf of Mary and Susanna. In their memory, may people continue to walk the trails in peace without fear.

A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle.

Police believe the women were hiking the popular trail off the Mountain Loop Highway. The women were last seen alive at 10 a.m. at the trailhead. A hiker told police he found their bodies as he was trekking down the trail. He called police from a nearby campground about 2:30 p.m.

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