From Staff Reports
Authorities are investigating the death of a Montana man who went missing Tuesday after hiking Electric Peak, in the far northwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park.
Searchers found the body of Joseph Austin Parker, 23, on Thursday morning, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.
The last known contact with Parker was a cell phone call he made to friends about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Parker told his friends he was below the summit of Electric Peak, and because of nearby lightning, he was starting to descend the mountain.
Parker was hiking alone and was reported missing by a friend at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and a search was initiated by the National Park Service.
An aerial search by both airplane and helicopter and ground search by teams in 4-wheel drive vehicles, on horseback and on foot did not turn up any apparent clues to Parker’s whereabouts Wednesday, park officials said.
Parker’s body was discovered below the summit of Electric Peak shortly after the search resumed Thursday morning. Details on the cause of death were not immediately available, and an investigation is continuing.
Originally from Valdosta, Ga., Parker was working at a local Gardiner, Montana business.
Electric Peak is an 11,000-foot mountain in the Gallatin Range, located west of Gardiner, Montana in the northwest portion of Yellowstone National Park.
Park officials said the National Park Service worked closely with a variety of agencies and landowners including the Park County, Montana Sheriff’s Office in conducting the search.