Woman Found Dead In Car Stuck In Yellowstone Snowbank ID’d As 38-Year-Old From Florida

Catheryn Danyelle Griffin, 38, of Florida was the woman found dead in a vehicle lodged in a snowbank Saturday evening. A man who may have been Griffin's traveling companion has been released on bond after federal authorities charged him with drug possession and traffic violations. 

Clair McFarland

May 18, 20234 min read

A woman found dead in a car lodged in a snowbank in Yellowstone National Park over the weekend has been identified.
A woman found dead in a car lodged in a snowbank in Yellowstone National Park over the weekend has been identified. (File Photo)

Correction: Teton County Coroner Brent Blue originally gave the deceased woman's name as Christyne, but the woman's family member has since informed Cowboy State Daily her first name is Catheryn. The story has been updated to reflect the correction.

The woman found dead in a vehicle Saturday evening in Yellowstone National Park has been identified as Catheryn Danyelle Griffin, 38, of Florida.  

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue confirmed the ID, but has not yet determined Griffin’s cause and manner of death, he told Cowboy State Daily in a Thursday phone call. But he has notified her next of kin of her death.  

Her autopsy was completed Wednesday.  

“We’re just waiting for full autopsy results and I’m waiting for a report from the National Park Service and the FBI,” said Blue, adding that her toxicology and final report could surface in a couple weeks.  

Blue said the woman appears to be from Florida, but authorities also have addresses for her in Mississippi and Alabama.  

Man Outside, Woman Inside 

Yellowstone National Park rangers found Griffin dead in a vehicle Saturday evening on Craig Pass, about 3 miles south of Old Faithful, the park’s public affairs office announced Monday.

The park’s statement, however, did not identify Griffin by name at the time.  

Rangers found that a vehicle had been driven into a snowbank, and they found a man standing outside it, while Griffin was dead inside the car.  

They arrested the man on suspicion of drug possession and traffic violations, and continued to process the scene over the next 24 hours, the statement says.  

Likely Match 

Only one man in the federal public court file fits the description of the arrestee from Saturday night, as he’s the only defendant displaying drug and traffic violations in Yellowstone from May 13.

The U.S. Attorney's Office charged him with drug possession, driving with a suspended or revoked license and not using seat belts. 

But Yellowstone National Park and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have declined to confirm whether that man, who gave a Texas address, is the one they found at the snowbank. 

The man appeared in the Yellowstone U.S. District Court by virtual link Thursday. Cowboy State Daily has chosen not to identify him by name pending further confirmation of his link to the scene and Griffin’s death.  

Michael Elmore, the federal prosecutor on the case, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Hambrick that it’s no longer necessary to keep the man in jail.  

Hambrick assigned a $2,500 unsecured bond to the defendant, meaning he needs only to sign a document saying he will pay $2,500 if he has to forfeit his bond, and he will be released from jail.  

An unsecured bond indicates that the judge believes the defendant does not pose a significant risk to the public and is not likely to flee justice.  

The man has been in custody in the Gallatin County Detention Center. He pleaded not guilty to his charges Monday.  

Hambrick ordered him to stay at his brother’s house in Missouri, where he was “formerly residing,” and to stay in touch with his attorney and appear for future court hearings via zoom, unless he’s in the Yellowstone area and would like to appear in person.  

“I absolutely will, yes ma’am,” said the man.  

Elmore asked the court to make the man surrender his passport during the case.  

Hambrick said the court will keep the man’s passport, which is among his possessions seized during the arrest, but law enforcement will return his truck and wallet to him.  

“Best of luck to you,” Hambrick told the man, “and hopefully you’ll get released here, later today.”  

Clair McFarland can be reached at: Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter