Woman dies after falling 80 feet at Ferne Clyffe - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Woman dies after falling 80 feet at Ferne Clyffe

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JOHNSON CO. -- In late January, a woman from Perryville, Missouri traveled to Southern Illinois for a day of hiking, but she never returned home. While hiking at Ferne Clyffe State Park, 24 year-old Jodie Blandford slipped on ice and fell about 80 feet. Her body was found four days later. 

"We were really close so, I lost my sister and my best friend," said Holly Blandford, Jodie's sister. 

Holly describes her older sister, Jodie as a free spirit and a lover of music, art and exploring.
"She just liked finding new trails and hiking them. She loved being in nature and that was like kind of therapeutic for her," said Holly. 

On January 18th,  24 year-old Jodie Blandford drove to Ferne Clyffe State Park to enjoy a day of hiking , but never returned home Perryville, Missouri. Holly, says it wasn't uncommon for Jodie to take off on a trip without telling anyone, but it was uncommon for Jodie to not answer Holly's text messages.  

"I had texted her Thursday, but my message never went through. But I didn't know if she had her phone off or what. So I waited until Friday to text her again and the same thing happened," said Holly. 

So Holly reached out to Jodie's friends, but none of them had heard from her.

"I texted her ex-boyfriend, they are still pretty close, and when he said he wasn't with her, that's when I knew something was wrong," said Holly. 

After four days of unanswered texts and calls, Jodie's family filed a missing persons report. Hours later, police found Jodie's car at Ferne Clyffe State Park. Holly says that night, after police had been searching the park, her family received the worst news possible. Police told them, Jodie slipped on ice and fell from an 80 foot bluff. 

"Definitely let other people know where you're going and do not go alone," said Holly. 
Holly says, with Jodie gone, all they can hope for now is for another family to learn from their tragedy. 

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