A woman has been banned from Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park for five years and fined $17,600 for providing false information to authorities regarding a missing hiker.
The hiker, Cian McLaughlin, has been missing since June 8, 2021.
Heather Mycoskie, 40, a Utah resident formerly of Jackson, Wyo., is said to have provided a detailed but false account of McLaughlin’s presumed whereabouts in the hope that authorities would not abandon search efforts.
Mycoskie stated that she had seen and conversed with McLaughlin on the south portion of the Bradley-Taggart moraine on the late afternoon of his disappearance. She added that he had intended to jump from his favorite rock at Taggart Lake.
In a news release issued Thursday, the National Park Service said that an investigation, which involved witness interviews, concluded that Mycoskie fabricated her story and “never saw anyone matching McLaughlin’s description.”
Based on her information, more than 530 hours were spent searching and managing the search effort, conducting follow-up investigations, and writing reports.
“This wasted valuable time that could have been focused on searching areas of higher probability and it cost the Federal Government approximately $17,600,” the NPS stated.
The NPS added that all other potential sightings of McLaughlin involved the trail network leading to Garnet Canyon, Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes, and Delta Lake.
In September 2021, authorities discovered that McLaughlin had been searching “Delta Lake” on a computer.
The search for McLaughlin – focusing on Garnet Canyon, Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes, and Delta Lake – will continue through the summer.
McLaughlin was believed to have been in possession of a red Apple watch and a red iPhone 12 mini. He was wearing gold wire-rimmed sunglasses and a white T-shirt.
The NPS is asking backcountry users in the park to contact authorities if they find any of these items.
–Image via Wikimedia Commons