Jeff Murphy

Jeff Murphy

Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park

A man who was missing since Wednesday in Yellowstone National Park has been found dead.

Park search crews found Jeff Murphy, 53, on Friday. A park news release said it appears Murphy died after falling on Turkey Pen Peak.

“All of us at Yellowstone extend our sympathy to the Murphy family for their tragic loss,” said Dan Wenk, the park’s superintendent, in a written release.

Search teams began looking for Murphy in the Rescue Creek trail area on Thursday after his wife reported that he had failed to check-in after a planned day hike. Murphy, who was from Batavia, Illinois, had planned to hike the Rescue Creek trail to Turkey Pen Peak. The peak is about 7,000 feet in elevation and sits above the Yellowstone River.

Eight hiking teams, four horse teams, five dog teams and a helicopter were used in the search at its peak. Jonathan Shafer, a spokesman for the park, said Murphy’s body was recovered early Friday afternoon.

The Rescue Creek Trailhead, which was closed during the search, has been reopened. The park’s release said visitors should expect temporary closures while staff members complete the investigation.

Michael Wright can be reached at or at 582-2638. Follow him on Twitter @mj_wright1.

Michael Wright covers the environment and wildlife issues for the Chronicle.

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