(West Yellowstone, Mont.) Searchers from Sheriff’s SAR have been looking for 69 year old David Cole of Bozeman since Saturday evening. He was last reported in the area of Tepee Creek,10 miles north of West Yellowstone. Searchers found his vehicle stuck and running on the Tepee Cr. Road. Cole could be wearing a blue/black plaid shirt and jeans and suffers from dementia. Saturday night volunteers searched the area on foot and ATVs. Helicopters from Life Flight Network and Two Bear Air from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office also worked until early in Sunday morning. Sunday 4 dog teams were in the area with foot searchers standing by. It is possible that Mr. Cole could have abandoned his car and walked out to the highway and was given a ride. Anyone with information can contact the West Yellowstone Police Department at 406-646-7600.
May 18, 2020
On Tuesday May 12, 2020, at 11:15AM, 68 year old Big Sky resident David Green was found deceased inside his garage.
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office along with the Chief Deputy Coroner are currently investigating the death. During the investigation Sean Patrick Murphy was arrested for Misdemeanor Obstructing a Peace Officer and has since posted bond. The Medical Examiner’s office conducted an autopsy and we are awaiting their report.
We have been asked if there is a concern for the public’s safety, which there is not. If there was concern that would be our first priority.
The family of Mr. Green requests that they be allowed to grieve their loss in peace and not be bothered during this difficult time.
On February 4, 27 year old Michael Cottrell, Jr. of Jonesboro, Georgia died of self-inflicted injuries sustained in a fall at the Baxter Hotel.
(Gallatin County, Mont.) The Office of the Sheriff/Coroner identified the victim of the hit and run crash on Stagecoach Trail Saturday as 76 year old Truman Emmelkamp of Manhattan. Sheriff’s Detectives continue the criminal investigation with Highway Patrol assisting with the crash reconstruction.#####
(Gallatin County, Mont.)
At 7:15 Thursday morning, September 19, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen cargo trailer. Employees of a local building company reported that they had arrived at their work site on Cushing Drive to find that the trailer they use to store their tools was missing. The owners of the trailer turned to social media for help, posting photos and a description of the stolen vehicle on several of Facebook’s local marketplace pages.
Shortly after 2:00 p.m. the reporting party again contacted GCSO. A member of the Clarkston community had told him that his trailer was on Missouri View Lane and they had taken photographs of it. Deputies were notified and responded to the area.
The stolen trailer was located approximately 300 yards from where it had first been seen. But that was not all that deputies found in the area: a second trailer, half spray-painted silver, was stashed behind a tree nearby. The trailer had been reported stolen out of Manhattan the previous evening. Both trailers were secured and returned to their owners. Antonio Urbay, 51, was arrested and charged with felony theft.
Several items have been secured following the execution of a search warrant on a residence and additional warrants are being applied for. The search continues for the construction tools missing from the construction trailer. If you have any information regarding the tools, please call the Sheriff’s Office at (406) 582-2100.
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the observant members of the Clarkston community who helped in locating the stolen trailers. #####
(Gallatin County, Mont.) Thursday evening at 7:00 911 received a call from a 23 year old mountain biker worried about being dehydrated and thought he might pass out. The 911 center was not able to pin point his location but knew he was near Sacajawea Peak. Search and Rescue volunteers were able to contact him by phone and have him use a link sent to his phone to get a better location which turned out to be on the west side of the Bridgers below Sacajawea. Rescuers hiked up the trail from the Fairy Lake Trailhead to meet up with the biker who was being assisted by two hikers he encountered after the call to 911. He was severely dehydrated but was able to continue down the trail on his own power. Search and Rescue personal drove the victim’s vehicle back to Bozeman for him because he did not feel capable of driving.
Sheriff Gookin says,”It is not unusual for people to underestimate the amount of water needed for hiking or biking the Ridge area this time of year.” Seasoned locals know the dry air, elevation and lack of shade up there requires much more water than you might normally take. Everyone needs to carry enough provisions for the adventure you are seeking and to remember this is the season of hot temperatures. He was also like to remind everyone to call for help early before the situation gets dire.
(Gallatin County, Mont.)
On Sunday, July 21st, around 2:24 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to a backcountry rescue in the Bridger Mountains. A 24-year-old, who was hiking alone about four miles from the Corbley Gulch Trailhead, injured her ankle. She was unable to continue on her own power. She contacted other recreationalists in the area who called search and rescue when they reached cell phone service.
Two motorcyclists, who came across the injured hiker, began driving her towards the trailhead. They met responding rescue crews on the trail. The motorcyclists transferred the hiker to rescue personnel, who transported her the rest of the way to the trailhead via a specialized rescue litter. The hiker was able to drive herself once she was back to her car.
Sheriff Gootkin said “It’s the little things that can get you in the back country.” Even the most prepared people can find themselves in need of a little help when out getting fresh air and exercise. He reminds hikers to always tell someone where you are going and when you are expected to return. We are glad to give people a hand if they have a bad day but we have to know you need it and where you are before we can.
(Gallatin and Park County Mont.) With a heavy heart, Sheriff Brian Gootkin and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue share that our friend and teammate Travis Swanson lost his life in a climbing accident yesterday on Mount Cowen in Park County. Travis was climbing with fellow SAR members Jackson Negri and Will Hitchcock when rockfall swept Will and Travis downslope. Jackson contacted Park County Sheriff’s Office and Gallatin County SAR teammates, who responded with specialized alpine rescue resources. With Jackson’s help, they were able to rescue Will and recover Travis. Will is currently at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings with stable injuries.
All three climbers were extricated by GCSAR with able assistance from Park County. The highly complex rescue was executed in a skilled and efficient manner that would have made Travis proud. Travis was a significant contributor to the Alpine and Helicopter rescue teams and we owe a part of the team’s performance to the many efforts that he put into Search & Rescue. He loved spending time with friends doing things that allowed him to excel at saving others. He demonstrated the highest level of teamwork and commitment. When good days went bad, Travis was always there to help his community.
We thank Park County for allowing us the privilege of being able to recover one of our own. We also thank Park County Sheriff, Search and Rescue, Park County Rural Fire, and Livingston Fire and Rescue for their response.
Dahl’s Funeral Home is organizing memorial arrangements.
Media Contact: Sheriff Brian Gootkin 582-2125
Photographs courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff
Travis Swanson during a rescue operation on Granite Peak in 2016.
(Gallatin County, Mont.) The last weekend in June saw 80 Search and Rescue Volunteers spend 285 hours on three incidents. The first incident was Saturday evening when Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and Central Valley Fire were dispatched to an injured hiker in the Truman Gulch area. The 27-year-old Bozeman woman was hiking with her fiancé and dog when she injured her knee. When she could go no further her fiancé carried her. The terrain eventually became so steep that they could no longer make progress and he went to find help. Rescuers used a wheeled stretcher and rope belays to bring her down to a waiting Central Valley Ambulance, which took her to the hospital. Sunday afternoon found SAR on the Gallatin River near Gateway, using boats and tracking skills to help Sheriff’s Detectives on a case. Later Sunday evening, three women and their dog had rafted from Spanish Creek past Gallatin Gateway when their raft crashed, spitting two of them and the dog out onto an island that they could not get off and the third onto shore. Rescuers had limited access to the area and fading daylight but with the help of a landowner were able to get the women and dog back to safety. No injuries were reported. Sheriff Gootkin thanks all the dedicated volunteers who took time from their weekend to help keep people safe and support the active, outdoor lifestyle this community values.
Photo of rescue in Truman courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office