Dozens of rangers, dog teams and helicopters swept the Tetons on Monday to try to find a missing 27-year-old Jackson man who set off from the Lupine Meadows trailhead alone almost a week prior.
Cian McLaughlin was last seen around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, hiking up from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead, but it wasn’t until the weekend that authorities learned of his disappearance.
“They didn’t realize that he was missing until missing that [work] shift on Thursday,” Grand Teton National Park spokesman CJ Adams said, “and then reported it a couple days later after that.”
McLaughlin was reportedly ill-prepared to endure cold weather. A local resident who crossed paths with him a half-mile from the trailhead reported that he was wearing shorts, a tank top, bucket hat and sunglasses. He carried no backpack.
Overnight temperatures in Jackson Hole have dipped into the thirties most nights over the past week in the valley, and surely plunged lower in the mountains.
Adams didn’t speculate whether a week in the Tetons without supplies would be survivable.
“We’re hopeful that we’ll find him,” he said.
Rangers aren’t focusing the search for McLaughlin in any one area because his hiking plan was unknown. Likely destinations include Garnet Canyon and the Surprise, Amphitheater, Delta or Taggart lakes areas. More than 40 National Park Service rangers are engaged in the search, plus four dog teams and volunteers from Teton County Search and Rescue.
The Park Service is requesting that anybody with information about McLaughlin’s potential whereabouts call or text a tip line at 888-653-0009. He’s 6 feet tall, approximately 180 pounds, sometimes wears his collar-length brown hair in a bun and speaks with an Irish accent. He was last seen up the trail from the Lupine Meadows parking lot — a busy place this time of year.
“If anybody has anything or might have seen him, contact the NPS tip line,” Adams said.