Something strange is happening in those mountains. So far this summer, three people have gone missing from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. This includes 27-year-old Cian McLaughlin, 46-year-old Robert Lowery and, most recently, 22-year-old Gabby Petito. While authorities stated that the three cases are completely unrelated, the strangely close timeframe between the missing persons cases has visitors wary of the national park and surrounding areas.
The first case of the summer to occur was McLaughlin who went missing on June 12. According to reports, a fellow Grand Teton visitor saw the 27-year-old hiking without a backpack on June 8. He was reportedly on the south side of Bradley/Taggart Moraine heading towards Taggart Lake.
Since his disappearance, national park officials have received tips from more than 140 people. They have conducted more than 45 helicopter searches and have even utilized thermal imaging cameras and other high-tech equipment. Unfortunately, they still have yet to find any signs of McLaughlin.
Two months later, Lowery went missing from the national park on August 19. Camera footage caught the Grand Teton traveler at a restaurant at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. According to Lowery’s sister, Leigh, the missing hiker had no prior experience with the national park or in camping. She told Jackson Hole News & Guide that the Texas native purchased a sleeping bag and a tent but mentioned no other gear.
Police stated that it’s possible that after visiting the nearby restaurant, McLaughlin could have gotten into a Lyft car. On August 23, authorities received a final ping on Lowery’s phone in Jackson, Wyoming. After that, all traces ceased. Perhaps the most baffling revelation from the case, though, was that the national park visitor canceled his mail at his home in Houston.
National Park Rangers Continue the Search for Most Recent Missing Person
While these two earlier missing persons cases are still completely relevant and pressing, the most recent case has national park rangers, local police departments and the FBI hard at work to find Gabby Petito. Previously, Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie were traveling through the western United States to visit the most renowned national parks. Before her mother reported her missing, Petito and Laundrie were in the Grand Tetons. Once there, all communication between Petito and her family ceased, causing her parents to panic.
Once police and national park officials caught wind of the case, they searched for the white camper that the couple used for their cross-country adventure. They found the van and the fiancée at his parents’ house in Florida. Since then, Laundrie, too, has disappeared in the nearby Carlton Reserve. However, Petito’s family believes that the fiancé is “hiding,” not “missing.”