Search efforts to ease for missing man in Grand Teton National Park

(Moose, WY) — Search operations continued Friday in Grand Teton National Park for 27-year-old Cian McLaughlin, who has been missing for eleven days. The last reported sighting of McLaughlin was on Tuesday, June 8th.

After days of extensive ground and aerial efforts, the search for McLaughlin will shift tactics to a continuous, but limited mode, according to the park press release. New clues will be investigated as they come forward. Park staff will continue to patrol the backcountry and search for signs of McLaughlin’s whereabouts.

On June 16th, rangers received a report of a June 8th sighting of a man fitting McLaughlin’s description by a local climbing guide. The guide reported seeing the man hiking up the Garnet Canyon trail, above the Garnet Canyon/Surprise Lake junction around 3:45 pm on Tuesday, June 8th. He described him as a solo hiker who had shoulder-length hair and was wearing round glasses, a white shirt, shorts, and a hat. The guide also reported the man as having tattoos on his arms and carrying a bottle of water.


Over the course of the last six days, up to 70 park staff per day have conducted search operations in the Teton backcountry. These operations involved multiple search and rescue dog teams. Some of these efforts included navigating steep, technical terrain in hazardous areas. Many of these areas require rope, an ice axe, crampons, and other protective equipment to access.

Over 45 helicopter search missions have been conducted. The park used Teton County Search and Rescue’s aerial RECCO rescue technology, which assists in search and rescue incidents sending a signal which reflects off RECCO chips or clothing and sometimes cellphones. The Civil Air Patrol conducted aerial operations using Forward Looking Infrared Technology (FLIR), which uses thermal imaging cameras to detect heat sources.

The investigation team spoke with over 140 people with tips and information about McLaughlin. The last reported sighting of a man fitting McLaughlin’s description was on the Garnet Canyon Trail, a short distance above the Garnet Canyon/Surprise Lake junction around 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8.

Updated missing person posters with McLaughlin’s picture and description will be posted throughout the park and overnight backcountry users will be advised to look for clues.


Anyone with information regarding McLaughlin’s whereabouts is urged to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch:

Call or text the tip line: 888-653-0009

Online: and click “Submit a Tip”


Email: [email protected]

h/t GTNP

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