News Release

UPDATE: Yellowstone National Park releases name of individual involved in incident at West Thumb Geyser Basin

The sun rises over the mountains and reflects on a large lake. Birds fly in the morning light.
Sunrise on Yellowstone Lake.

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

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News Release Date: November 17, 2022

Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY - Yellowstone National Park announced today that the human foot found in Abyss Pool, located in the West Thumb Geyser Basin, belonged to Il Hun Ro, a 70-year-old male from Los Angeles, California. Yellowstone law enforcement officers received the positive identification based on DNA analysis in the last three weeks and notified the family.

In August 2022, staff discovered part of a foot in a shoe floating in the well-known thermal feature and an investigation led by Yellowstone law enforcement officers began. The investigation determined, to the best of our knowledge, that an unwitnessed incident involving one individual happened on the morning of July 31, 2022, at Abyss Pool, and no foul play occurred. Based on a lack of evidence, the circumstances surrounding the death of Ro remain unknown.

This investigation has concluded, and the park has no additional information to share.

Yellowstone would like to thank the investigating national park rangers and special agents, Teton County (Wyoming) Coroner’s Office, Teton County (Wyoming) Search and Rescue, and Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation for their assistance in the investigation.

For more information about this unfortunate incident, read the previous press release: August 19, 2022, Yellowstone National Park incident at Abyss Pool, West Thumb Geyser Basin

Editor’s note: There are no photos of this incident. Photos of West Thumb Geyser Basin can be found on Yellowstone’s Flickr.

Last updated: November 17, 2022

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