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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.