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Efforts to rescue a missing 74-year-old Utah man around a remote lake in Yellowstone National Park transitioned to efforts to recover his body on Friday, park officials announced in a news release.

Search and rescue crews in the past five days have scoured the entire shoreline of Shoshone Lake and all area trails for signs of Kim Crumbo of Ogden, Utah. Rescue crews also used a helicopter to survey the the lake’s open water in a grid pattern, according to park staff.

Crews spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday looking for Crumbo by foot, helicopter and boat at Shoshone Lake. Grand Teton National Park’s interagency helicopter was helping with the mission.

On Friday, crews from the National Park Service’s Submerged Research Center used sonar equipment to look for clues in the water, and rescue efforts transitioned to recovery efforts, according to the park.

“This incident remains under investigation,” park officials wrote in Friday’s update. “While we can not comment further about the specifics of this investigation, we will provide updates when appropriate to do so.”

A family member on Sunday reported that Crumbo and his 67-year-old half-brother Mark O’Neill were overdue from a four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake.

Upon searching the eastern shore of the lake that day, rescue crews found a canoe, paddle, personal flotation device and other personal belongings along with a vacant campsite.

O’Neill’s body was found on the eastern shore of the lake on Monday. He was a retired National Park Service employee from Chimacum, Washington, according to Yellowstone staff.

Morgan Warthin, a spokesperson for the park, wrote in an email on Wednesday that the official cause of O’Neill’s death hasn’t yet been confirmed, but he likely drowned.

The average year-round temperature of Shoshone Lake — the second-largest lake in Yellowstone — is about 48 degrees, according to the park. At that temperature, experts estimate that people can survive in the water for between 20 and 30 minutes.

As investigators put together a timeline of events, staff in Yellowstone are encouraging people who were in the Shoshone Lake area between Sept. 12 and 19 and saw O’Neill and Crumbo or have other relevant information to contact them.

People with information should reach out to 307-344-2428 or

“A sincere thank you to the public who have expressed interest in assisting with the search,” park officials wrote. “We ask the public to maintain distance from any law enforcement personnel and search crews, equipment, vehicles and their related activity for the safety of the public in this remote area and to protect the integrity of our work.”

Crumbo is a former Navy SEAL, a Vietnam veteran, a wildlife and wilderness advocate and a retired National Park Service employee. He worked as a river ranger and then as a wilderness coordinator for NPS in the Grand Canyon.

He is a board member for The Rewilding Institute and works closely with the Wildlands Network and other conservation and wilderness organizations.

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Helena Dore can be reached at or at 582-2628.

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