By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Yellowstone National Park officials are focusing on the recovery, not rescue, of a missing former U.S. Navy SEAL who was last heard from a week ago.
After five days of searching, efforts to locate Kim Crumbo, 74, of Utah, at the park’s Shoshone Lake are transitioning to efforts to find his body, officials announced Friday.
The search followed the discovery Monday of the body of Mark O’Neill, 67, of Chimacum, Washington, whose body was found on the lake’s eastern shore.
O’Neill and Crumbo, who were half brothers, had been reported by family members as overdue from a four-night backcountry trip in the park. On Sept. 19, park crews found a vacant campsite and gear on the park’s south side, along with a canoe, paddle, personal floatation devices and other personal belongings on the lake’s eastern shore.
The discovery of O’Neill’s body sparked a search for Crumbo over the last five days by crews who swept all the trails in the area, searched the entire lake shoreline by boat and gridded the open water by helicopter.
On Friday, crews from the National Park Service’s Submerged Research Center were to begin using sonar equipment to search for clues in the water. Park search crews continued to look for him by foot and boat, with assistance from the Grand Teton National Park’s interagency helicopter.
Recovery efforts will continue for the next several days as conditions warrant, park officials said.
The incident remains under investigation. Officials are asking for the public’s help in putting together a timeline of events, so if anyone was in the Shoshone Lake area between Sept. 12-19, contact officials at 307-344-2428 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both O’Neill and Crumbo are National Park Service retirees, and Crumbo is a former Navy SEAL.
Shoshone Lake, the park’s second-largest, is located at the head of the Lewis River southwest of West Thumb. At 8,050 acres, its average year-round temperature is about 48 degrees. Survival time in the cold water is estimated to be only 20 to 30 minutes.