News Release

Park responds to new information in search of missing hiker

Missing Person Flyer Cian McLaughlin 6/23/2021

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News Release Date: June 23, 2021

Contact: Denise Germann, 307.739.3393

Contact: C.J. Adams, 307.739.3431

MOOSE, WY— Grand Teton National Park received additional information about missing 27-year-old hiker Cian McLaughlin. The park continues to request any information the public may have that may aid in locating McLaughlin.

A Jackson resident who recently returned from an international trip came forward with new information. The reporting party said they saw McLaughlin on Tuesday, June 8, in the late afternoon/early evening on the trail on the south side of the Bradley/Taggart moraine. The individual reported McLaughlin was headed south towards Taggart Lake and had a conversation with McLaughlin where he described where he worked, that he’s from Ireland, and currently living in Jackson. The reporting party continued hiking towards Bradley Lake and did not see McLaughlin again that evening.

As a result of this new information, the park has made additional search efforts around Bradley Lake and Taggart Lake. Park staff also searched the Phelps Lake area, which McLaughlin reportedly likes to visit. No evidence or clues of McLaughlin’s whereabouts were identified.

As McLaughlin’s plans were unknown, anyone who has been traveling in the Teton backcountry since Tuesday, June 8, may have seen him. 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: www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”
Email: e-mail us

The park does not expect to issue another media release unless something significant changes with this case.


History

June 18, 2021, 7 p.m. Search operations continued today in Grand Teton National Park for 27-year-old Cian McLaughlin, who has been missing for ten days. The last reported sighting of McLaughlin was on Tuesday, June 8. After days of extensive ground and aerial efforts, the search for McLaughlin will shift tactics to a continuous, but limited mode. 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.

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: www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”
Email: e-mail us

The park does not expect to issue another media release unless something significant changes with this case.

June 17, 2021, 6 p.m. Search operations continued today in Grand Teton National Park for 27-year-old Cian McLaughlin, who has been missing for nine days.

Based on information provided by a local climbing guide yesterday evening, operations were adjusted to focus efforts on the Garnet Canyon area today. 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.

Today, park staff extensively searched the Garnet Canyon area. Operations included over sixty park staff conducting ground search efforts. Teams were flown into the Garnet Canyon area this morning by the Teton Interagency Helicopter. Efforts included five search and rescue dog teams and members of Teton County Search and Rescue. Search operations will continue tomorrow.

As McLaughlin’s plans were unknown, anyone who has been traveling in the Teton backcountry since Tuesday, June 8, may have seen him. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch:
Call or text the tip line: 888-653-0009
Online: www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”
Email: e-mail us

June 16, 2021, 8 p.m. Search efforts continued today in Grand Teton National Park for 27-year-old Cian McLaughlin, who has now been missing for eight days.

Today, rangers received a report of a June 8 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 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8. 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.

Based on this new information, search operations will be adjusted tomorrow to focus more on Garnet Canyon.

Today’s search included over fifty park staff conducting ground search efforts in high probability areas of the backcountry. Six search and rescue dog teams, members of Teton County Search and Rescue, and the Teton Interagency Helicopter have also been involved.

As McLaughlin’s plans were unclear, anyone who has been traveling in the Teton backcountry since Tuesday, June 8, may have seen him. Anyone with information regarding McLaughlin’s whereabouts is asked to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch:
Call or text the tip line: 888-653-0009
Online: www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”
Email: e-mail us

June 15, 2021, 5 p.m. Search operations continued into the third day for missing 27-year-old man Cian McLaughlin in Grand Teton National Park. McLaughlin was last seen by a friend around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8, approximately a half mile from the Lupin Meadows Trailhead, hiking to an unkown destination. 

Rangers received additional tips today about potential sightings of McLaughlin on the switchbacks below the Garnet Canyon/Surprise Lake junction and in the vicinity of Delta Lake on Tuesday, June 8.

As McLaughlin’s plans were unclear, anyone who has been traveling in the Teton backcountry since Tuesday, June 8, may have seen him and are encouraged to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch.

Security cameras show that McLaughlin entered the park via the Moose Entrance Station on Tuesday, June 8 at 2:15 p.m. He was wearing a white short-sleeve shirt and a red watch while in his vehicle. In addition, it is believed he was wearing shorts, a bucket hat, and round sunglasses. McLaughlin also has a noticeable forearm tattoo on his left arm. The missing person flyer has been updated. 

Today’s search included over forty park staff conducting ground search efforts in high probability areas of the backcountry. Five search and rescue dog teams, members of Teton County Search and Rescue, and the Teton Interagency Helicopter have also been involved. In addition, the Civil Air Patrol flew a search this morning using Forward Looking Infrared, a thermographic camera that senses infrared radiation. Search operations will continue tomorrow.

Anyone with information regarding McLaughlin’s whereabouts is asked to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch:
Call or text the tip line: 888-653-0009
Online: www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”
Email: e-mail us

June 14, 2021, 12 p.m. Rangers received updated information from the tip line this morning about missing 27-year-old, Cian McLaughlin. McLaughlin was last seen around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8, approximately a half mile from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead, hiking to an unknown destination.

McLaughlin was last seen wearing a cutoff tank top and shorts (unknown color), a bucket hat, and round sunglasses. He was not wearing a backpack. McLaughlin is described as six feet tall and 180 pounds. He has brown, collar length hair and brown eyes. He is said to be thin and has an Irish accent. An updated missing person flyer is attached.

Search operations continue in Grand Teton for the second day. Over forty park staff are conducting ground search efforts in the backcountry. Four local search and rescue dog teams and members of Teton County Search and Rescue are also involved. In addition, aerial reconnaissance operations are taking place.

As McLaughlin’s destination is unclear, anyone who has been traveling in the Teton backcountry since Tuesday, June 8, may have seen him. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch:
Call or text the tip line: 888-653-0009
Online: www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”
Email: e-mail us

June 13, 2021, 10 p.m. Grand Teton National Park requests the public’s assistance in locating Cian McLaughlin, a 27-year-old male. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center was notified of a missing person report for McLaughlin on Sunday, June 13, at approximately 7 a.m. by the Teton County Sheriff’s Office. It was believed that McLaughlin intended to go hiking earlier in the week and failed to show up at his place of employment on Thursday, June 10 and was reported missing late Saturday night, June 12.  

Park staff surveyed trailhead locations within the park early Sunday morning, June 13, and located McLaughlin’s vehicle at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. A ground and aerial search was immediately initiated in probable locations that he may have been hiking.  

Here is what we know at this time:
  • Cian McLaughlin is a 27-year-old male who was last seen in the town of Jackson, Wyoming, on Tuesday, June 8, at 2 p.m.
  • The Teton County Sheriff’s Office received a missing person report late Saturday night, June 12 and contacted Grand Teton National Park early Sunday, June 13, when they had information indicating McLaughlin may be hiking in the park.  
  • McLaughlin failed to report to his employment in Jackson on Thursday, June 10.
  • McLaughlin’s vehicle was located at Lupine Meadows Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park on Sunday morning, June 13.
  • McLaughlin’s route is unknown. He could be hiking in the Garnet Canyon, Surprise, Amphitheater, Delta, or Taggart Lakes area.
  • Aerial reconnaissance and ground search operations were conducted in high probability areas in the park on Sunday, June 13, in search of McLaughlin with no evidence or leads about his whereabouts. Search operations will continue early Monday morning, June 14. 
As his plans were unclear, anyone who has been traveling in the Teton backcountry since Tuesday, June 8, may have seen McLaughlin. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch:

Call or text the tip line: 888-653-0009
Online: www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”
Email: e-mail us


 



Last updated: June 23, 2021

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