By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The mother of an Irish man who disappeared while hiking in Grand Teton National Park has traveled to Wyoming to attempt a recovery of her son.
Grainne McLaughlin spoke with Irish news outlet RTE News this week while in the park and pleaded for people who were in the area around June 8 and might have seen her son, Cian McLaughlin, to come forward.
“Cian was a very outgoing guy, loved being outdoors,” the mother said. “If you met Cian, he’d stop and have a chat. He was living here for two years, he had dual citizenship.”
Grainne McLaughlin explained that Cian would work as a snowboard instructor in the winter and would work in the Jackson-area bars during the summer. She added her son was popular and had many friends both in Ireland and the United States.
Cian McLaughlin, 27, was last seen at around 2:30 p.m. June 8, about one-half mile from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead in the park. His vehicle was found days later.
“Despite the rangers’ massive search, I think they’ve put about 5,000 hours into it, we’ve still had no luck in finding anything,” his mother said. “He was well-versed in the mountains. He grew up hiking with me, his dad, my brother. He’s well-versed with equipment, gear, so we’re sure he was out on a day hike.”
McLaughlin was wearing a white t-shirt, a pair of shorts, a red Apple Watch, wire-rimmed sunglasses and a silver necklace at the time of his disappearance.
Grainne McLaughlin suggested that although it was June when her son disappeared, the snow runoff in the area he was hiking could have been a factor.
“All of the waterfalls were gushing, there would have been [snow]melt underneath ice, so it’s tricky, it’s a tricky time of year,” she said.
McLaughlin is 6 feet tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has brown hair and eyes. He has an Irish accent and would be considered thin or fit.
McLaughlin is the only person who disappeared in the park this summer who has not yet been found. Gabby Petito was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest, not far from the park, in mid-September and her death has been ruled a homicide.
Robert Lowery also was last seen in Grand Teton in August, and his body was found in September, as well. His death was ruled a suicide.