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Law Enforcement Receives New Tips About Missing Moorcroft Man; Reward Money Increased

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

The reward for a Moorcroft man who has been missing for more than two years has been raised to $12,000, thanks to a recent donation, while Nebraska authorities continue their investigation into his disappearance.  

Chance Englebert, then 25, disappeared July 6, 2019, during a weekend trip with his wife and young son to visit her family in Gering, Nebraska. 

It’s unclear what transpired that day, but Englebert had been golfing with his father-in-law and other members of his wife’s family and reportedly got into an argument over the new job that he’d recently accepted after being laid off from a coal mine.

Englebert called his wife to come get him and told her he wanted to return home to Wyoming. When his wife refused to leave, he called a friend to come get him but the friend was not able to make the drive, so Englebert allegedly started walking toward Torrington. 

He was last spotted on surveillance footage walking in downtown Gering on the 700 block of O Street, wearing Wrangler jeans, plaid shirt and a trucker’s cap.

The last text message from his phone was sent just after 9 p.m. that day and contained an incomprehensible jumble of numbers and emojis, according to his mom Dawn, who questions whether someone else had his phone as he never used emojis. 

Despite a massive search involving 17 agencies, drones, divers, cadaver dogs and hundreds of volunteers on foot, horseback and ATVs – as well as several searches led by friends over the past two years between Gering and Torrington – Englebert remains missing.

Gering Police continue to receive tips and conduct interviews, including one Tuesday morning, according to Brian Eads, lead investigator on the case, who was with the Nebraska State Highway Patrol at the time of Englebert’s disappearance. 

The case is still active and there are no updates to share, Eads said in an email to Cowboy State Daily Tuesday. He would not comment on whether the department has identified any solid clues or persons of interest, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Casper private investigator Amanda Waldron of the non-profit group “We Help the Missing” released a poster seeking information on Englebert on Tuesday and announced her agency will also be investigating details surrounding his disappearance. 

“This case really eats at me,” Waldron said.

Along with police efforts, several amateur detectives have weighed in on podcasts about what might have happened to Englebert, including a Tarot card reader who said the now 28-year-old is likely no longer alive and is buried in a field after being killed by someone who held a grudge. 

Another YouTube channel, “The Missing Truth,” recently raised $2,000 from subscribers to donate to Englebert’s family. 

His mother has been touched by this donation and the outpouring of support from friends and strangers invested in helping to locate her son.

“It’s pretty darn amazing,” she said. “Despite all this evil, we are blessed by the good.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gering Police Department at (308) 436-5088 or private investigator Amanda Waldron at (307) 797-0363 or the We Help the Missing tip line at (866) 660-4025.  Tips can remain anonymous. 

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Remains Found Matching Missing Texas Man’s Description At Teton Pass

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The remains of a person matching the description of a Texas man last seen in late August near Jackson were found on Tuesday, Teton County Search and Rescue announced.

What is believed to be the body of Robert “Bob” Lowery was found Tuesday afternoon on a steep, timbered slope on Teton Pass, the team said.

Lowery was last seen on the Black Canyon Trail near Wilson at around 2:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20.

The body discovered Tuesday was found with a black Nike duffle bag “significantly” off the trail on a steep, wooded slope, according to the search and rescue team.

Volunteers spent Tuesday afternoon recovering the body from the mountainside.

The Lowery family has been notified of the discovery.

More than 25 people and three dog teams from the region helped search for Lowery. Collectively, the search teams hiked more than 75 miles and covered 22,500 feet in elevation.

Calls for assistance in locating Lowery went out in early September, a little more than two weeks after he was last seen by two hikers on the Black Canyon Trail who described Lowery as sitting on a big rock along the trail.

The Black Canyon Trail is more than 12 miles and does not offer any campsites, just lots of wilderness. It is also more known as a trail for mountain bikers than hikers.

The missing man flew to Jackson from Houston on Aug. 19. Lowery’s sister Leigh Lowery said her brother is the loving father of two children with whom he had daily contact, and it was unusual for him to be out of touch with his children for so long.

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Family Releases More Information About Man Last Seen In Jackson In August

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The family of a man who disappeared in Teton County after flying to Jackson in mid-August is renewing its call for any information about his disappearance.

Leigh Lowery said witnesses have helped the family determine that Robert “Bob” Lowery was last seen on the Black Canyon Trail near Wilson at around 2:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20.

Two hikers on the trail described Lowery as sitting on a big rock along the trail. The two reported the sighting after seeing Lowery’s “missing person” poster and recognizing his Nike duffle bag.

“They had exchanged hellos that day and the couple could even timestamp when they saw Bob based on pictures they took right near where he was sitting down,” Leigh Lowery said on social media. “Bob was sitting on a large rock on the righthand side of the trail, with his black duffle behind him. He was alone.”

The couple also reported seeing only three people on the trail that day, including Bob Lowery, and indicated they were not sure as to whether he was tired or just thinking while sitting on the rock.

Originally, Lowery was reported as last being seen taking a rideshare vehicle to Pearl Street Bagels in Wilson. The reported sighting on the trail would have been about 75 minutes after his ride to the bagel shop.

The Black Canyon Trail is more than 12 miles and does not offer any campsites, just lots of wilderness. It is also more known as a trail for mountain bikers than hikers.

“He’d have to go off path to camp,” Leigh Lowery said. ” We assume he walked all that way with a heavy duffle. No doubt he would have been tired. We now know he had a grey tent and blue sleeping bag with him.”

She added that thankfully, the trail is somewhat shady and had streams available, in case her brother ran out of water after he disappeared.

Leigh Lowery said she intended to return to the Jackson area the weekend of Oct. 2 to continue searching for her brother. The Lowery family is working to get in touch with expert hikers, search and rescue teams, mountain biking groups and possibly a helicopter or drone pilot to aid in the search.

“Please keep Bob and his/our family in your prayers. We truly appreciate all the love and support and hope we find him safe and sound, so he can come do what he loves most of all, be a dad,” she said.

Bob Lowery had a grey, single-person Magellan Kings Peak tent and a blue sleeping bag. He was last seen wearing hiking boots, blue jeans, a black baseball cap with the letter “P” and carrying a large black Nike duffle bag with the white logo. The bag likely contained his tent and camping equipment. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

The missing man flew to Jackson from Houston on Aug. 19. Leigh Lowery said her brother is the loving father of two children with whom he had daily contact, and it is unusual for him to be out of touch with his children for so long.

The Lowery family filed a missing persons report with the Teton County Sheriff’s Department about a week after they last heard from Bob. The department’s investigation is ongoing.

“Community members have been incredibly kind and responsive, but Bob has yet to be found,” Leigh Lowery said. “As you can imagine, the worst part is not knowing and desiring his safe return. We continue to hope that he is well and will return home safely.”

Cowboy State Daily previously reported that Lowery had never been to Jackson prior to his arrival from Houston and he had no previous camping experience.

Before Lowery left Houston, he canceled his mail delivery.

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Yellowstone Officials Now Looking To Recover, Not Rescue, Missing Navy SEAL

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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 yell_tip@nps.gov.

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.

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Prosecutors Say Laundrie A Flight Risk, Want Him Jailed If Found

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Federal prosecutors are asking that once the missing boyfriend of Gabby Petito is found, he be detained prior to his trial on a federal charge of unlawful use of a credit card.

In a petition to the U.S. District Court in Cheyenne, prosecutors alleged that prior to his trial, there is a risk Brian Laundrie could flee and pose a risk to the community.

Prosecutors asked for a hearing on the motion on Monday.

Officials in Florida continued their search Friday for Laundrie, who was reported missing one week ago. He remains a “person of interest” in the death of Petito, whose body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 19.

A warrant has been issued for Laundrie’s arrest by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant does not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accuses of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling the country in a van. On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida with the fan and without Petito. She was reported missing on Sept. 11.

Since returning to his home, Laundrie has not cooperated with law enforcement officers in the investigation into Petito’s disappearance and death.

Laundrie was reported missing by his family on Sept. 17.

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Officials Still Looking For Missing Man In Yellowstone After Half-Brother Found Dead

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Search and rescue personnel continued searching Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday for a Utah man whose half-brother was found dead on the shores of a lake in the park on Monday.

Officials are searching for Kim Crumbo, 74, by foot, helicopter and boat at Shoshone Lake in the park and will continue to do so for the next several days as long as the weather conditions allow for it.

Park crews on Monday found the body of Mark O’Neill, 67, of Chimacum, Washington, on the east shore of the lake.

O’Neill and Crumbo, of Ogden, Utah, were reported overdue from a four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake by a family member on Sunday.

On Sunday, park crews located a vacant campsite and gear on the south side of the lake, as well as a canoe, paddle, personal floatation devices and other personal belongings on the east shore of the lake.

A Grand Teton National Park interagency ship and crew are also assisting with air operations.

Both O’Neill and Crumbo are National Park Service retirees, and Crumbo is a former Navy Seal.

The incident remains under investigation.

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.

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Remains Confirmed As Petito’s; Officials Say She Was Murdered

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily
The remains of a body found in Bridger-Teton National Forest have been identified as those of the 22-year-old Florida woman who disappeared in western Wyoming in late August, officials said Tuesday.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue also said officials made an official determination that Gabby Petito murdered, however, officials are waiting for the results of an autopsy before announcing the cause of death.

In the meantime, authorities in Florida continued searching Sunday for Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie, who still has not been identified as a suspect, only a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance.  

Law enforcement officers from several different agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Forest Service and Teton County Sheriff’s Office, closed a campground on the forest’s eastern edge over the weekend while searching for Petito, who was reported missing on Sept. 11.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling together in a van converted so they could live in it. The two had an encounter with police in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12, where officers described them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”

Petito spoke with her mother by video on Aug. 24 and her family did not hear from her after that. Laundrie returned to his home in Florida on Sept. 1 in the couple’s van and without Petito.

Laundrie has not cooperated with authorities in their investigation into Petito’s disappearance. He was reported missing on Friday by members of his family, who said they had last seen him on the previous Tuesday.

On Monday morning, FBI investigators surrounded and entered Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port, Florida as part of a “court-authorized search warrant,” according to CNN. His parents were escorted out of the house during the search, but later brought back inside for questioning.

Laundrie has not been identified as a suspect, only a person of interest, in Petito’s disappearance.

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Man Found Dead In Yellowstone, Half-Brother Still Missing

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The body of a Washington state man was found Monday along the east shore of Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.

Park crews on Monday found the body of Mark O’Neill, 67, of Chimacum, Washington, on the east shore of the lake.

O’Neill and his half-brother, Kim Crumbo, 74, of Ogden, Utah, were reported overdue from a four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake by a family member on Sunday.

On Sunday, park crews located a vacant campsite and gear on the south side of the lake, as well as a canoe, paddle, personal floatation devices and other personal belongings on the east shore of the lake.

Search and rescue efforts continued Tuesday, with 10 crew members searching for Crumbo on foot.

A Grand Teton National Park interagency ship and crew are also assisting with air operations.

Both O’Neill and Crumbo are National Park Service retirees, and Crumbo is a former Navy Seal.

The incident remains under investigation.

Shoshone Lake, the park’s second-largest lake, 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.

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Police, Family Seeking Information About Missing Casper Man Last Seen In August 

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Law enforcement and family members are seeking the public’s help in locating a 39-year-old Casper man who has been missing for more than three weeks.

Darren Thunehorst was last seen at the end of August at his former address on A Street in Casper, according to a Tuesday post on the Casper Police Department’s Facebook page.

Thunehorst has missed work and other important events he typically would not miss, his sister Aha Rha said on a Facebook post on the “Missing People of Wyoming” page.

She added he has not contacted family or friends and is not receiving calls on his phone.

“We are very concerned,” she said.

The Casper Police Department did not immediately respond to request for comment prior to publication.

Thunehorst is described as 5 feet, 10-inches tall with red hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Casper Police Department at (307) 235-8278.

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FBI Raids Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend’s House In Florida

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Less than one day after the likely remains of Gabby Petito were found in Bridger-Teton National Forest, the FBI raided the family home of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of the young woman.

On Monday morning, FBI investigators surrounded and entered Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port, Florida as part of a “court-authorized search warrant,” according to CNN. His parents were escorted out of the house during the search, but later brought back inside for questioning.

Laundrie was reported missing late last week as the investigation into Petito’s disappearance ramped up. He has not been cooperative with authorities regarding the investigation, officials have said.

Remains matching Petito’s description were found on Sunday within the forest, the last place she was seen alive. A cause of death has not yet been announced.

Laundrie has not been identified as a suspect, only a person of interest, in Petito’s disappearance.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling together in a van converted so they could live in it. Laundrie returned to his home in Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito. The FBI got involved with the investigation late last week.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino called the discovery of remains in Wyoming “heartbreaking,” adding: “The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family,” according to CNN.

Laundrie’s sister also issued a statement to ABC News praising Petito for her relationship with Laundrie’s nephews.

“Gabby was a fun and loving influence to ‘the boys’ as she always referred to them. We will cherish the time we spent with her,” Cassie Laundrie said in the statement.

Police visited the Laundrie family home after Petito was reported missing, but Laundrie’s family refused to talk and instead gave authorities their attorney’s information, according to CNN.

Their home was searched Friday evening after Laundrie’s family told police he had not been seen for days. He left home with his backpack Tuesday and told them he was going to a local nature reserve, CNN reported.

Police had an encounter with the couple in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12, where officers described them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”

Although the two are described as getting into a physical fight following an argument, “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” a report from Officer Eric Pratt said.

On Aug. 24, Petito FaceTimed with her mother and told her she was leaving Utah and heading to the Teton range in Wyoming, CNN reported.

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