Search for missing Utah man scaled back in Yellowstone after nearly 3 weeks

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FILE – Shoshone Lake at Yellowstone National Park. (Yellowstone National Park)

SHOSHONE LAKE, Wyoming (ABC4) – The search and recovery efforts for a missing Utah man have been scaled back at Yellowstone National Park.

In mid-September, rangers began searching for 74-year-old Kim Crumbo of Ogden and his brother, 67-year-old Mark O’Neill of Chimacum, Washington, after the pair were reported missing on Sept. 19. Crumbo and O’Neill had been on a four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake.

Yellowstone park crews were able to find a vacant campsite with gear on the south side of Shoshone Lake. A canoe, paddle, personal floatation device, and other personal belongings were located on the east shore of the lake.

During the morning of Monday, Sept. 20, Yellowstone officials say the body of O’Neill was found along the east shore of Shoshone Lake. Search and rescue efforts continued in the days after that. By Friday, Sept. 24, Yellowstone rangers announced the search for Crumbo was transitioning from a rescue situation to a recovery. On Friday, Oct. 8, national park rangers said they had begun scaling back the search and recovery efforts for Crumbo.

For nearly three weeks, officials have been searching for Crumbo with helicopters, boats, sonar technology, and ground crews. With current weather forecasts calling for deteriorating conditions over the upcoming week, including snow and freezing temperatures, rangers are scaling back the search.

Limited search efforts will continue as long as weather conditions allow this year.

“All of us at Yellowstone extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and colleagues of both Mark and Kim,” says 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.”

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

The incident remains under investigation. Yellowstone officials do not expect to provide further updates “unless a notable change occurs.”

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, Yellowstone rangers say the lake’s average year-round temperature is about 48 F. Survival time is estimated to be only 20 to 30 minutes in water of this temperature.

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