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October 06, 2011 12:32 pm

Search underway for missing hiker

Written by CJ Baker

Jason Shefelbine, 32, of Billings, has been missing since Saturday. He was last seen northwest of Antelope Mountain. Jason Shefelbine, 32, of Billings, has been missing since Saturday. He was last seen northwest of Antelope Mountain. Courtesy photo

Searchers in Park County are continuing to look for a 32-year-old Billings man who hasn't returned from a Saturday hike in the Clarks Fork Canyon area.

Jason Shefelbine was last seen Saturday, Oct. 1st, around 2 p.m. northwest of Antelope Mountain between the Chief Joseph Highway (Wyo. 296) and the Clarks Fork River. He was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, a black day pack and was carrying a fishing pole.

Anyone with information about Shefelbine is encouraged to contact the Park County Sheriff’s Office at 307-527-8700.

Shefelbine left early Saturday for a day hike somewhere in the Clarks Fork Canyon area, but never returned, said a news release from Park County Sheriff Scott Steward today. The sheriff's office was notified Monday evening to be on the lookout for Shefelbine in the general area of the Clarks Fork Canyon, but deputies were unable to find him or his vehicle that night, Steward said.

On Tuesday, at 4:45 p.m., the department got more information that narrowed down the search area. Three hours later, sheriff's deputies found Shefelbine's vehicle near Antelope Mountain and search and rescue was summoned to the area around 7:40 p.m.

The search was called off just after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and resumed at 6:15 a.m. Later on Wednesay, a witness reported having seen Shefelbine Saturday afternoon, and search efforts were focused around that area.

Search and Rescue, the sheriff's office and volunteers searched the area extensively with search dogs, people on the ground and aircraft, but did not find any clues to Shefelbine's whereabouts, Steward said. With inclement, wet weather and slick, steep terrain, the search was called off as darkness approached on Wednesday.

Park County Search and Rescue began searching again at 7 a.m. today (Thursday) and plan to use three dog teams and people on the ground, Steward. Bad weather is expected to prohibit aircraft from searching the area and likely has created too-hazardous conditions to search the remote deep canyon areas on foot, Steward said.

Editor's note: This version corrects Shefelbine's age.

5 comments

  • Comment Link October 07, 2011 12:59 pm posted by Amy

    This absolutely sucks. I knew Jason long ago when he was in college and working with my husband. He is truly one of the nicest people I have ever known. It saddens me greatly to learn that he is in such peril, and I pray he's found alive.

  • Comment Link October 07, 2011 4:57 pm posted by jason quillinan

    God bless u shefelbine. Knew u since I was a freshman. Ill pray for u every day bro

  • Comment Link October 08, 2011 6:46 am posted by Shawn

    I hope he is not another victim of a grizzly bear attack. If that were the case, it could take years to find him, if ever.

  • Comment Link October 11, 2011 8:04 am posted by Bolt

    This is a tragedy! Jason was one of the coolest people I had the pleasure of knowing. He was brilliant and funny and always fun to hang with. All our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.

  • Comment Link October 12, 2011 6:47 pm posted by corina

    We miss Jason very much. I've known him since moving to glenrock. We had some great times hanging out the few times we did. Lots of prayers coming from Missouri.

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