By Mark Heinz, Cowboy State Daily
A firearm and other “personal belongings” were found near the site where human remains were discovered in Carbon County on Oct. 16, but the identity of the deceased hadn’t by Monday afternoon been released by the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office.
There’s still no word whether the discovery is connected to the 2019 disappearance of Carbon County resident Mark A. Strittmater, who was 44 at the time. Strittmater disappeared while hunting during a snowstorm and hadn’t been found during organized and extensive searches of the area.
A group of hunters from Wisconsin found a firearm “in the vegetation” at about 8 a.m. Oct. 16 south of Rawlins, according to the sheriff’s office. The hunters alerted a Wyoming Game and Fish Department warden, who in turn called the sheriff’s office and Carbon County Coroner’s office.
Belongings, Remains Uncovered
An initial search of the area uncovered partial human remains and personal belongings, according to the sheriff’s office. A more thorough search Oct. 20 resulted in the recovery more remains and personal items. That search involved personnel from the University of Wyoming Department of Anthropology and the Wyoming State Archaeologist’s Office, along with county officials.
The case remains under investigation.
Strittmater’s disappearance is one of Wyoming’s most prominent missing persons cases.
He went missing in October 2019 while hunting elk in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Carbon County when an early-season snowstorm hit. Multiple searches for him were conducted that year, as well as during the summer of 2020.
His binoculars were found by a hunter in November 2020.
That set off another search, which included a K-9 unit. Officials at the time said they found “other items” that might have belonged to Strittmater, but no human remains.