Search Crews Recover Body of Missing Kayaker in Kootenai River

Jessica Prado, 40, of Idaho, on June 30 was found submerged 15 feet deep in the Kootenai River above the falls

By Maggie Dresser
Rapids in the Kootenai River near Libby on April 13, 2024. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Search and rescue crews on Sunday morning recovered the body of a 40-year-old Idaho woman who went missing while she and her boyfriend were kayaking on the Kootenai River, according to Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short.

Members of the David Thompson Search and Rescue team on June 30 at 8:45 a.m. located Jessica Prado’s body upstream of Kootenai Falls and just downstream of the eddy where she was last seen by her boyfriend, Jared Satterlund.

Prado had been missing since June 26 at 7:58 p.m. and was last seen above Kootenai Falls where they “started having problems.”

According to Short, the kayakers were floating through a section called China Rapids above the falls when their boats filled with water, causing Prado to panic. She then exited her kayak and got caught in an eddy.

As Satterlund attempted to help her, she left the eddy and got sucked down into a hole 15 feet deep in the river.

Search crews found Prado’s damaged kayak and other personal items at the bottom of the falls in the first day of the search but failed to locate her body. In the following days, crews used a K9 team to narrow down the area and located Prado’s body in the hole using a camera.

Prado was not wearing a life jacket.

Sheriff Short encouraged the public to wear a life jacket and exercise caution in the Kootenai River.

“We usually lose at least one person in that river every year,” Short said.