Wyoming reporter's cause of death undetermined - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Wyoming reporter's cause of death undetermined

Posted: Updated:
CODY, Wyo. -

Authorities say there was no evidence of injury, or foul play in the death of Powell newspaper reporter Gibson Mathers. The Park County Sheriff’s Office press release said Mathers’ body was found more than two miles in the backcountry of the Shoshone National Forest. An autopsy will determine how Mathers died after he disappeared January 31.

The Elk Fork of the Shoshone River, in the Shoshone National Forest is 26 miles west of Cody, about halfway between Cody and Yellowstone. The body of 61-year-old Gib, or Gibson Mathers was found far up a snow covered road near the campground midday Saturday.

Park County Search and Rescue Spokesman, Lance Mathess said, “Mr. Mathers’ body was found two and a quarter miles south of the highway along the Elk Fork drainage, and he was discovered by a man riding horseback in that area.”

Mathess said the Search and Rescue team explored the area in one of their first searches in early February. 

He explained, “We did send snowmobiles up in that area...it had snowed probably twenty inches from the time Mathers disappeared to the time he was reported missing.  So, even the snowmobiles going up there probably would not have seen him.”

The exact cause of Mathers’ death will be determined by an autopsy.

Mathess said, “There was no evidence of foul play. There was no evidence of predation on the body, and there was no obvious signs of injury.”

Mathers’ sister Lou Stahley and her husband Richard Stahley came from their home in Casper to help Search and Rescue members try to find the missing man. 

Richard Stahley and a friend drove Mather’s truck to the Elk Fork Campground and trailhead to examine the trail on Sunday.

The family issued a statement that said, "Our family is understandably devastated by the discovery yesterday. Gib was a beloved member of our family and his loss leaves a giant hole in our hearts. We are awaiting the final reports from the authorities so that we can properly grieve and honor Gib the way he deserves. We appreciate the kindness shown to us by a few in the Cody area. The dedication and support of those private individuals is truly amazing. Gib was a special person inside and out and he will forever be missed by those whose lives he touched."

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward issued a statement thanking the volunteer members of the search and rescue team, and Mather’s family, who took part in multiple searches. He said, “This is by far the most difficult search that our volunteers have ever had to conduct.”

The autopsy is being conducted in Sheridan. Mathers was a reporter for the Powell Tribune. He was 61-years-old.

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