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2 deaths in Yellowstone this week

By Staff and AP
Published On: Jul 18 2013 02:59:06 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2013 04:57:20 PM CDT
Joseph Austin Parker

Yellowstone National Park

Joseph Austin Parker

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. -

Two men died in separate incidents in Yellowstone National Park this week.

A 73-year-old southwestern Montana man died while fishing in the park.

The National Park Service says the man, whose name has not been released, lost his footing while fishing in the Yellowstone River and was swept away in the swift current on Wednesday.

The incident occurred near the Nez Perce picnic ground in the Mud Volcano area of the park.

The Park Service says witnesses reported seeing the man trying to cross the river in chest-deep water. He was carried about 200 yards downstream before another visitor pulled him out and tried unsuccessfully to revive him.

The cause of death is under investigation.

In addition, searchers have recovered the body of a man missing on a solo hike in the northwest section of the park since Tuesday.

Joseph Austin Parker, 23, was last heard from in a cell phone call he made to friends at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.  He told them he was below the summit of Electric Peak and was descending the mountain because of lightning.

Parker was reported missing about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. An aerial search by both airplane and helicopter and a ground search by teams on horseback, on foot, and in four-wheel-drive vehicles combed the area Tuesday night and all day Wednesday.  His body was discovered in the same area Thursday morning. 

Originally from Valdosta, Ga., Parker was working at a local business in Gardiner, Mont.

The cause of his death is also under investigation.

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