Kelly James' Sister Thanks People For Prayers

Reported by: David Begnaud

From just looking at his picture, Kelly James had an artitistic air about him.

His sister Traci, who works at Southern Hills elementary in Shreveport, says Kelly was an artistic landscaper who loved the great outdoors.

"That is what drove him to climb," says his brother, Frank, who from day one had been the family spokesman on the mountain.

But Wednesday night, having just arrived back in Shreveport, Traci Hale told KSLA News 12,

"I have a renewed faith in people because of all the prayers and how everybody had come together in support of our family," says Traci Hale.

"I mean there's nothing I can do for my wife other than just be there.  It's frustrating," says David Hale, Traci's husband, who is now at home with his wife and their daughter.

Wednesday, Oregon's medical examiner autopsied Kelly's body, discovering he died of hypothermia.  Dehydration may have also played a role.

The autopsy showed no disabling injuries, and that Kelly probably died several days before his body was found in a snow cave.

It was the ending his family had feared, but in a twist of irony, it happened in a place where he was most at peace.

"Kelly always told us that he felt closest to God when he was on the mountain," says Frank James

Now, his family says he is on the highest mountain.

"Kelly is Ok, now!  He is in God's hands," says Hale.

How you can help:

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