Search for missing Utah man at Yellowstone National Park scaled back
Ashley Fredde, KSL.com
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (KSL.com) – Search and recovery efforts for Ogden man Kim Crumbo, 74, are being scaled back after nearly three weeks of using helicopters, boats, sonar technology and ground crews.
Yellowstone National Park officials said that upcoming weather, including snow and freezing temperatures, will call for deteriorating conditions. The park will continue limited search and recovery efforts as long as the weather allows, officials added.
Crumbo and his brother Mark O’Neill, from Chimacum, Washington, were reported overdue by a family member Sunday, Sept. 19, from their four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake. Park crews located the two men’s vacant campsite with gear, including a canoe and paddle, on the south side of Shoshone Lake and other belongings on the east shore of the lake.
Both O’Neill and Crumbo are National Park Service retirees, and Crumbo is a former Navy Seal.
On Sept. 20, Yellowstone National Park officials located the body of 67-year-old Mark O’Neill along the east shore of Shoshone Lake. An autopsy determined the cause of death of O’Neill was exposure (hypothermia), according to officials.
Search and rescue efforts were initiated for Crumbo with 10 crew members on foot in the area on Sept. 21. Grand Teton National Park interagency ship and crew were also called in to assist with air operations.
Search efforts for Crumbo shifted from rescue to recovery on Sept. 24 after five days of searching. Shoshone Lake, the park’s second-largest lake, has an average year-round temperature of about 48 degrees. Survival time is estimated to be about 20 to 30 minutes in water of this temperature, Yellowstone officials said.
The five days of search and rescue included crews sweeping the trails in the area, searching the entire Shoshone Lake shoreline by boat and gridding the open water by helicopter with no success.
On Sept. 24, crews from the National Park Service’s Submerged Research Center began using sonar equipment to detect clues in the water while search crews continued to search by foot and boat. Search efforts are still ongoing but will be scaled back as conditions worsen, officials said.
“All of us at Yellowstone extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of both Mark and Kim,” superintendent Cam Sholly said. “I want to personally thank the teams from Yellowstone, other parks and agencies, and partner organizations who worked to help us locate Mark, and who continue search efforts to bring Kim home.”
This incident is still under investigation. Yellowstone National Park officials ask anyone with information that could help investigators piece together a timeline of events or was in the Shoshone Lake area between Sept. 12-19 to contact them by calling (307) 344-2428, or email, at email@example.com.