For five years, the National Park Service has prohibited a female from visiting Grand Teton National Park and fined her $17,600 for allegedly lying to investigators looking for a missing Irish hiker.
The National Park Service has levied a five-year ban and $17,600 penalty against a woman for allegedly misleading investigators seeking for a lost Irish hiker in Grand Teton National Park, the agency announced on Thursday.
According to statements attributed to Grand Teton National Park officials released on Thursday, Heather Mycoskie, a resident of Jackson, Wyoming, “knowingly provided false information and a false report” to personnel searching the park for Irish hiker Cian McLaughlin, who vanished on June 8, 2021.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Mycoskie told authorities that she saw McLaughlin walking towards Taggart Lake, where he “planned to jump off his favorite rock into the water.” Witness accounts differ from those of McLaughlin, who was reported seen walking on trails northwest of Taggart Lake that led to Garnet Canyon.
The encounter was determined to be a hoax by the park service, according to multiple sources. According to the park service, further interviews with witnesses revealed that Mycoskie had fabricated the sighting in order for the search for McLaughlin to continue.
“As a consequence of Mycoskie’s false statement, approximately 532 hours were spent conducting searches, managing search efforts, performing follow-up investigations, and producing associated reports. This lost important time that could have been spent searching for higher-likelihood areas and cost the federal government $17,600 in wasted time.
Mycoskie will pay back the anticipated cost of the search and accept a five-year ban from Grand Teton National Park as part of his deferred prosecution agreement, which was signed on June 10.
The one-year anniversary of McLaughlin’s disappearance falls this week. At the time he vanished, 27-year-old Dubliner John had been living in Wyoming for two years. His mother described the debunked news as upsetting, but stated that she and McLaughlin’s other loved ones “quickly put it behind” them to focus on continuing the search for her son.
“We needed to stay focused on the search itself and not be distracted,” McLaughlin said in a statement released through the National Park Service. “I want to thank everyone who searched for my son – it meant everything to our family.”
The National Park Service has announced that it will be banning a woman from Grand Teton National Park for five years and fined her $17,600 for allegedly lying to investigators who were looking for a missing Irish hiker.