By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Yellowstone National Park officials are scaling back search efforts for a Utah man who has been missing in the park for nearly three weeks.
Crumbo, 74, and his brother Mark O’Neill, of Washington, were reported overdue by a family member on Sept. 19 from their four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake.
Park search crews found O’Neill’s body the next day. It was determined the man died of hypothermia.
Search teams have been using helicopters, boats, sonar technology and ground crews to find Crumbo, to no avail at this point. Current weather forecasts call for deteriorating conditions over the next week, including snow and freezing temperatures.
Park officials will continue limited search efforts, as long as conditions allow, this year. In late September, park officials changed the search from a rescue to a recovery of Crumbo.
“All of us at Yellowstone extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of both Mark and Kim,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “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. 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 U.S. 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.