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Update: Body of missing Powell man found on North Fork

Gib Mathers Gib Mathers

The body of Gibson “Gib” Mathers, 61, of Powell, was found on the North Fork Saturday morning.

A local man was riding a horse in the area when, around 11 a.m., he discovered Mathers’ body in the Elk Fork Creek drainage, the Park County Sheriff's Office said. The location was about 2 1/4 miles south of U.S. Highway 14/16/20 west. The Sheriff's Office described the spot as a small clearing, about 20 feet west of Elk Fork Creek.

An autopsy conducted Monday concluded that Mathers died of hypothermia, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Lance Mathess. Mathess had said Sunday that "investigators found no evidence of foul play, no apparent injuries and no predation on the body."

Mathers, a Powell Tribune reporter, had last been seen in the area on Jan. 31; a search began on Feb. 3, after a Wyoming Highway Patrolman noticed his recently purchased truck parked and covered in snow along U.S. 14/16/20, not far from the Wapiti Campground inside the Shoshone National Forest.

When the horseman reported finding the body Saturday morning, deputies from the Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Wyoming Game and Fish and Shoshone National Forest immediately responded, Mathess said. They were assisted by members of the sheriff’s Search and Rescue unit, who helped bring the body out.

In a Sunday statement, Park County Sheriff Scott Steward noted the "countless" hours spent by Search and Rescue, immediate family members and the general public who worked to find Mathers.

“This is by far the most difficult search that our volunteers have ever had to conduct,” Steward said. “The terrain, winter conditions, and continual bad weather combined with the fact that we had no idea of Gib’s direction of travel made the search nearly impossible. However, throughout it all, our personnel continued to search almost every day in an effort to bring Gib home.”

Steward said he was "very relieved" to bring a degree of closure for the family.

The Tribune will update this post with more information as it becomes available.

11 comments

  • posted by Katie Woods

    March 14, 2017 9:10 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Gib. Years ago, my husband and I worked with Gib in Yellowstone and traveled with him to Europe. He was always so kind, thoughtful, and curious about the world. He really did leave the world a better place. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues.

  • posted by Patty Ceglio

    March 13, 2017 10:21 pm

    I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of Gib. I worked with him in his Yellowstone days, and have fond memories. My thought and prayers are with his family, friends, coworkers and community.

  • posted by Molly Mathers

    March 13, 2017 9:49 pm

    For all that took part in helping with SAR, Thank you.

  • posted by Ed Morrow

    March 13, 2017 9:30 pm

    Our family sends our deep sympathy for the loss of Gib... God bless all members of the Powell Tribune Office as they grieve this huge loss. Also we pray for Gib's many friends and family who sorely missed him like we do.

  • posted by James L Jarrett

    March 13, 2017 1:30 pm

    A terrible loss for his family, our community, and The Powell Tribune. Our condolences...

  • posted by Ali Stewart

    March 13, 2017 11:34 am

    I am so glad Gib was found...and I agree with a previous post: Gib left the world a better place. Lots of love to his family and friends, including all of you at the Powell Tribune.

  • posted by Lynette Hawkins Kelley

    March 13, 2017 8:08 am

    I am very grateful for those who helped in this search, and that we have the peace of knowing he was found. Gib left the world a better place.

  • posted by Jaime Schmeiser

    March 12, 2017 5:49 pm

    My deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. He will be missed.

  • posted by A. Mayes

    March 12, 2017 9:23 am

    I'm so sorry to hear of Mr Mather's death - I'm glad for the closure for his family however. My prayers are with those who knew and loved him.

  • posted by Carol Sheets

    March 11, 2017 8:38 pm

    So sad to hear of his untimely demise...may he RiP

  • posted by L. Zwemer

    March 11, 2017 7:08 pm

    To the Tribune Staff, my deepest sympathies for the loss of your friend and colleague.

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