A Wyoming woman who lied to police about a missing man in Grand Teton National Park has been banned from the park for five years and forced to pay $ 17,600 in restitution.
Heather Mycoskie, 40, gave investigators false information about the location of Cian McLaughlin, a 28-year-old Irishman who has not been found.
“Mycoskie provided a very detailed description of McLaughlin and stated she had a discussion with him in which he shared where he lived, where he was from, and his place of employment,” the National Park Service said Thursday in a press release.
But in reality, Mycoskie never saw anyone in the park and never spoke with McLaughlin, police said.
Grand Teton National Park (Shutterstock / Shutterstock)
Mycoskie said McLaughlin was headed toward Taggart Lake, but all other witnesses said he was walking toward Delta Lake, and an examination of his computer revealed that he searched for “Delta Lake” days before he disappeared on June 8, 2021. The two lakes are not far from each other, but are in opposite directions on a trail.
Police said Mycoskie’s lies led to 532 wasted man-hours searching for McLaughlin in the wrong area. They estimated the cost at $ 17,600 and transferred that cost to Mycoskie.
Mycoskie agreed to her plea deal in February, according to the National Park Service.
When McLaughlin disappeared, he was wearing shorts, a cutoff tank top, bucket hat and round sunglasses. He wore a red Apple watch and carried a red iPhone 12 mini but was not wearing a backpack.
Several people have gone missing in Grand Teton park in recent years, most famously Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old travel blogger whose body was found in the park last September. The extensive search for Petito also led authorities to the remains of a missing Houston father, Bob Lowery, at a different location in the park.