MOOSE, Wyo. — It’s been nearly five months since Cian McLaughlin disappeared in Grand Teton National Park, and his family is begging for help in finding him.
The 27-year-old from Ireland vanished while hiking alone on June 8. A hiker recalled seeing McLaughlin heading south toward Taggart Lake in the late afternoon when the two stopped and had a conversation. McLaughlin described where he worked, said he was from Ireland and mentioned he was living in Jackson. The hiker went on his way and did not see McLaughlin again.
Rangers have conducted multiple searches, and McLaughlin’s vehicle was found at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead, but there has been no sign of him.
“He was supposed to be at work on June 10, and he didn’t show up. Then he was supposed to come to work on June 12, and when he didn’t show up again, his co-workers reported him missing,” McLaughlin’s aunt, Jolene McLaughlin Daniels, tells EastIdahoNews.com. “The last time his cell phone pinged was in the park on June 8.”
McLaughlin is friendly, easygoing and enjoys chatting with people. The morning of his hike, he texted friends, tried to Facetime with his mother in Ireland, and his computer shows he searched for Delta Lake, Daniels says. Other hikers say they saw McLaughlin on trails that day, and he was in good spirits.
He worked as a ski instructor, so was familiar with the mountains and spent a lot of time in the park.
“There are a couple of lakes (investigators) are particularly interested in, and one of them is Delta Lake. That particular lake is a little difficult to get to. It’s common for people to go there, but it’s not one of the ones the majority of the tourists would go to,” Daniels says.
Search parties, helicopters with infrared technology, dogs, park rangers and volunteers have helped look for McLaughlin. His family in the United States and Ireland have spent weeks at the park doing their own searches without success.
The day he disappeared, McLaughlin was wearing a white T-shirt, necklace, wire-rimmed sunglasses, a red Apple watch and he was carrying a red iPhone 12 Mini. He has a large colored tattoo on his forearm and a vase tattoo on the back of his arm. He also has a dice tattoo on his forearm.
Investigators are asking anyone in Grand Teton National Park on or around June 8 to look through photos and videos to see if McLaughlin is in any of them. Pictures of Delta Lake during that timeframe are also needed to document the change in the ice cover.
“They’ve had something like 2 million people go through the park since he’s been missing, and you would think that somebody would see something,” Daniels says. “It’s been a very difficult time because we don’t have any kind of closure, and we don’t have any leads. I’m obviously hopeful and just looking for some form of closure.”
Anyone with photos, video or information that can help in the search for McLaughlin is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call or text (888) 653-0009 or visit nps.gov/ISB and click on “Submit a Tip.”