• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr


    National Park South Dakota

Search for Missing Man Ends

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Date: December 20, 2006
Contact: Julie Johndreau, (605) 433-5242

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. — The body of 54 year old Harold Hayes of LaGrange, Illinois was discovered by searchers at approximately 10 o’clock this morning in Badlands National Park. The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Hayes’ body was found a little over one mile south of the Sage Creek Basin Overlook. Hayes’ pickup truck had been parked at the Sage Creek Basin Overlook since sometime between 8:30 and 11:00 am on Saturday morning. "We had hoped for a better outcome," said Chief Ranger Mark Gorman "Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Hayes’ family."

Park rangers discovered there was cause for concern during a routine check of the parked vehicle. The search involved a South Dakota State Highway Patrol helicopter, two Rapid City Police K9 search teams, and forty foot-patrol searchers from Pennington County Search and Rescue, Badlands National Park, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Wind Cave National Park.

Did You Know?

The rich hue of the Yellow Mounds paleosols

The yellow and red layers in the badlands formations are fossilized soils, called paleosols. Fossil root traces, burrows, and animal bones found within the soils provide scientists with evidence of environmental and climatic changes that occurred in the badlands over time.