Search for missing man on the Yellowstone resumes
Search efforts to locate a man believed to have fallen into the Yellowstone River on Dec. 12 resumed Wednesday with improved weather conditions.
Two Bear Air flew down a Flathead County Sheriff’s deputy and its underwater remote controlled camera on Wednesday, said Undersheriff Chip Kem.
“The deputy was able to check underneath the ice shelf to the extent that conditions would allow. However, he found no signs of the missing individual,” said Kem.
The helicopter also flew the river downstream with a spotter, but had no luck. Crews will continue to monitor the ice flow and will resume search efforts when conditions are favorable.
The man’s identity has also been determined by authorities are withholding it at the request of his family.
Search crews from two counties converged on the Yellowstone River at Itch-Kep-Pe Park last Tuesday, Dec. 13, after the man’s bicycle was found parked at the bridge and his footprints were found going down to the river but leading back out. When people in the area where questioned, they reported hearing a possible yell or scream the night before around 6 p.m., said Kem.
Last Wednesday, Dec. 14, several search dogs showed interest in an area not far off shore where it is believed the man went into the river. Frigid conditions and deteriorating weather prevented divers from conducting a search. Crews used ice drills and underwater cameras instead.
The day before two Stillwater County Search and Rescue foot teams searched boat ramps at the park and the SAR raft was launched. Rapidly changing water and weather conditions forced the raft out of the water, said Kem. The search, which was joined by Columbus Fire Rescue, was suspended due to darkness
Gallatin County dogs and divers as well as Columbus Fire Rescue and Columbus police have been working the scene.