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Yellowstone National Park identifies person whose foot was found in hot spring

Posted at 8:47 AM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 14:40:07-05

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. - Yellowstone National Park officials said Thursday they have identified the person whose foot was found in a hot spring.

The foot found in August in the Abyss Pool, which is located in the West Thumb Geyser Basin, belonged to Il Hun Ro, a 70-year-old man from Los Angeles, Calif., park officials said in a press release.

Yellowstone park law enforcement officials received the positive identification based on DNA analysis in the last three weeks and notified the family, the press release states.

Park staff discovered part of a foot in a shoe floating in the well-known thermal feature and an investigation led by Yellowstone law enforcement officers was launched.

"The investigation determined, to the best of our knowledge, that an unwitnessed incident involving one individual happened on the morning of July 31, 2022, at Abyss Pool, and no foul play occurred," the press release states. "Based on a lack of evidence, the circumstances surrounding the death of Ro remain unknown."

Park officials said the investigation has concluded, and there was no additional information to share.

RELATED: Yellowstone officials say "no foul play" suspected in human foot found in hot spring

The hot spring is one of the deepest in Yellowstone with a depth of more than 50 feet, and its temperature can reach approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Yellowstone National Park website provides the following information about safety around thermal features:

  • Always walk on boardwalks and designated trails. Keep children close and do not let them run on boardwalks.
  • Do not touch thermal features or runoff.
  • Swimming or soaking in hot springs is prohibited. More than 20 people have died from burns suffered after they entered or fell into Yellowstone’s hot springs.
  • Pets are prohibited in thermal areas.
  • Do not throw objects into hot springs or other hydrothermal features.
  • Toxic gases may accumulate to dangerous levels in some hydrothermal areas. If you begin to feel sick while exploring one of our geyser basins, leave the area immediately.

According to the Associated Press, park officials say since 1890 at least 22 people have died in or around the park from hot spring-related injuries.