Missing Kayaker identified after body recovered from Rock Creek - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Missing Kayaker identified after body recovered from Rock Creek

Posted: Updated:

The Carbon County Sheriff's Office has identified the kayaker pulled from Rock Creek Tuesday morning as Thomas Bajo, 68, of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Carbon County Sheriff Josh McQuillan says that Bajo was an accomplished kayaker with more than 20 years of experience. Bajo is in Montana visiting friends in Billings.

McQuillan says that Bajo and a friend were kayaking from Lions Camp to Rock Creek Resort, a journey they had completed only a few days before.

McQuillan explains that friend with Bajo reported that Bajo ran into trouble after capsizing and hitting his head on a rock Monday afternoon. Bajo was unconscious in the water. A second kayaker with Bajo managed to grab hold of the 68 year old... but was not able to pull him to shore. A spotter with the group called 9-1-1 around 2:15 p.m. Monday afternoon..

Sheriff McQuillan says that a group of kayakers on the river spotted Bajo's body around 7:15 Tuesday morning. It took Red Lodge Fire Rescue two hours to pull the body free of natural debris in the creek. McQuillan says that the body was submerged under the water.


The body of a missing kayaker was recovered from Rock Creek just after 9:00 a.m. Tuesday. According to Red Lodge Fire and Rescue the body was spotted by volunteer kayakers around 7:30 a.m.

KULR-8 reporter David Kaplan was present as rescue workers and volunteers used a rope to pull the body from a debris in the middle of the creek to shore.

Kayaker's involved in the rescue effort are visibly shaken and are declining to comment.  


Search efforts resumed Tuesday morning for a missing kayaker near Red Lodge. According to Red Lodge Fire and Rescue volunteer Kayaker's on the river may have spotted the missing man around 7:30 a.m.. Rescue teams are attempting to reach that location now. Stay with KULR-8 for updates as we get them.


It's the story of summer recreation turned nightmare as the search for one missing kayaker continues near Red Lodge. Carbon County Sheriff Josh McQuillan said one kayaker was reported missing Monday around 2:15 p.m. after falling out of his kayak into Rock Creek at Westminster just North of Rock Creek Resort.

Red Lodge Fire/Rescue, Search and Rescue, Carbon County Sheriff's Office, Red Lodge Police, several volunteer kayakers, and Two Bear Air from Kalispell searched the area for several hours Monday before darkness forced the search party to take a break until daylight Tuesday, when dogs will be added to the search.

KULR-8 is actively working to bring any new developments to you as we get them and bring them to you on air and online.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Ron Parker, 9/11 first responder, talks about his experience

    Ron Parker, 9/11 first responder, talks about his experience

    Saturday, September 23 2017 12:41 AM EDT2017-09-23 04:41:49 GMT
    Sixteen years ago, the World Trade Center was attacked on September eleventh. Saturday, Ron Parker, a first responder in New York city at the time of the attack, will speak at the Angel Horse Fundraiser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ron Parker said he only grew up 7 miles from the World Trade Center, affectionately called the twin towers.  "I was there from September 11th, that morning, until January 6th 2002.," Parker said."I lost 45 of my friends there. My day...
    Sixteen years ago, the World Trade Center was attacked on September eleventh. Saturday, Ron Parker, a first responder in New York city at the time of the attack, will speak at the Angel Horse Fundraiser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ron Parker said he only grew up 7 miles from the World Trade Center, affectionately called the twin towers.  "I was there from September 11th, that morning, until January 6th 2002.," Parker said."I lost 45 of my friends there. My day...
  • Person responsible for flag found in dumpster remains unknown

    Person responsible for flag found in dumpster remains unknown

    Friday, September 22 2017 10:27 PM EDT2017-09-23 02:27:02 GMT

    The Billings Army Reserve tells us they are unable to determine who is responsible for throwing an American flag in their dumpster because there are more people who have access to those dumpsters than just their employees.

    The Billings Army Reserve tells us they are unable to determine who is responsible for throwing an American flag in their dumpster because there are more people who have access to those dumpsters than just their employees.

  • United Way operation supply

    United Way operation supply

    Friday, September 22 2017 3:12 PM EDT2017-09-22 19:12:07 GMT
    Today marked the fifth year of United way's operation supply.   After organizing loads of boxes full of school supplies and hygiene products, United Way partnered with several volunteers and the army reserve to  deliver twelve truckloads to elementary, middle and high school's in the city. Starting in late July, United Way already start packing and separating various products for delivery. Operation Supply is an annual event which several businesses and individu...
    Today marked the fifth year of United way's operation supply.   After organizing loads of boxes full of school supplies and hygiene products, United Way partnered with several volunteers and the army reserve to  deliver twelve truckloads to elementary, middle and high school's in the city. Starting in late July, United Way already start packing and separating various products for delivery. Operation Supply is an annual event which several businesses and individu...
  • MontanaMore>>

  • Ron Parker, 9/11 first responder, talks about his experience

    Ron Parker, 9/11 first responder, talks about his experience

    Saturday, September 23 2017 12:41 AM EDT2017-09-23 04:41:49 GMT
    Sixteen years ago, the World Trade Center was attacked on September eleventh. Saturday, Ron Parker, a first responder in New York city at the time of the attack, will speak at the Angel Horse Fundraiser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ron Parker said he only grew up 7 miles from the World Trade Center, affectionately called the twin towers.  "I was there from September 11th, that morning, until January 6th 2002.," Parker said."I lost 45 of my friends there. My day...
    Sixteen years ago, the World Trade Center was attacked on September eleventh. Saturday, Ron Parker, a first responder in New York city at the time of the attack, will speak at the Angel Horse Fundraiser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ron Parker said he only grew up 7 miles from the World Trade Center, affectionately called the twin towers.  "I was there from September 11th, that morning, until January 6th 2002.," Parker said."I lost 45 of my friends there. My day...
  • Deputy rescues man from overturned semi

    Deputy rescues man from overturned semi

    Friday, September 22 2017 2:58 PM EDT2017-09-22 18:58:09 GMT

    A Park County Deputy is being hailed as a hero on Facebook after coming to the rescue of a man trapped inside the cab of his rolled over semi-truck Friday morning. 

    A Park County Deputy is being hailed as a hero on Facebook after coming to the rescue of a man trapped inside the cab of his rolled over semi-truck Friday morning. 

  • Wyoming's ferret, wolf reintroductions inspire national park in Argentina

    Wyoming's ferret, wolf reintroductions inspire national park in Argentina

    Friday, September 22 2017 2:26 PM EDT2017-09-22 18:26:01 GMT

    Wyoming’s black-footed ferrets and Yellowstone’s wolves may have inspired the return of wildlife to a new national park in Argentina. Organizers are calling it the largest reintroduction program in the Americas.

    Wyoming’s black-footed ferrets and Yellowstone’s wolves may have inspired the return of wildlife to a new national park in Argentina. Organizers are calling it the largest reintroduction program in the Americas.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Verizon will not terminate Montana contracts

    Verizon will not terminate Montana contracts

    Friday, September 22 2017 11:41 AM EDT2017-09-22 15:41:48 GMT

    U.S. Senator Jon Tester has successfully defended Montanans from Verizon’s attempt to terminate contracts. Verizon responded to Tester’s demands Friday. Tester received assurances from Verizon that no Montanans will be involuntarily removed from their contract.

    U.S. Senator Jon Tester has successfully defended Montanans from Verizon’s attempt to terminate contracts. Verizon responded to Tester’s demands Friday. Tester received assurances from Verizon that no Montanans will be involuntarily removed from their contract.

  • UPDATE: Daisy Dukes bouncer sent to hospital after stabbing, one man arrested

    UPDATE: Daisy Dukes bouncer sent to hospital after stabbing, one man arrested

    Friday, September 22 2017 2:14 PM EDT2017-09-22 18:14:38 GMT

    Billings Police say a Daisy Dukes security guard is recovering in the hospital after being stabbed in the leg. 

    Billings Police say a Daisy Dukes security guard is recovering in the hospital after being stabbed in the leg. 

  • Man dies after being beaten in Lame Deer

    Man dies after being beaten in Lame Deer

    Friday, September 22 2017 11:27 AM EDT2017-09-22 15:27:30 GMT

    The BIA and FBI are investigating an incident that occurred on September 17th in Lame Deer that left Ozzy Lee Wilson hospitalized. Friday morning the FBI confirmed that Wilson has died as a result of those injuries. 

    The BIA and FBI are investigating an incident that occurred on September 17th in Lame Deer that left Ozzy Lee Wilson hospitalized. Friday morning the FBI confirmed that Wilson has died as a result of those injuries. 

  • Deputy rescues man from overturned semi

    Deputy rescues man from overturned semi

    Friday, September 22 2017 2:58 PM EDT2017-09-22 18:58:09 GMT

    A Park County Deputy is being hailed as a hero on Facebook after coming to the rescue of a man trapped inside the cab of his rolled over semi-truck Friday morning. 

    A Park County Deputy is being hailed as a hero on Facebook after coming to the rescue of a man trapped inside the cab of his rolled over semi-truck Friday morning. 

  • Mountain lion spotted in Laurel

    Mountain lion spotted in Laurel

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 12:53 PM EDT2017-09-20 16:53:28 GMT

    A mountain lion has been spotted in Laurel multiple times over the past week. 

    A mountain lion has been spotted in Laurel multiple times over the past week. 

  • Person responsible for flag found in dumpster remains unknown

    Person responsible for flag found in dumpster remains unknown

    Friday, September 22 2017 10:27 PM EDT2017-09-23 02:27:02 GMT

    The Billings Army Reserve tells us they are unable to determine who is responsible for throwing an American flag in their dumpster because there are more people who have access to those dumpsters than just their employees.

    The Billings Army Reserve tells us they are unable to determine who is responsible for throwing an American flag in their dumpster because there are more people who have access to those dumpsters than just their employees.

  • Ron Parker, 9/11 first responder, talks about his experience

    Ron Parker, 9/11 first responder, talks about his experience

    Saturday, September 23 2017 12:41 AM EDT2017-09-23 04:41:49 GMT
    Sixteen years ago, the World Trade Center was attacked on September eleventh. Saturday, Ron Parker, a first responder in New York city at the time of the attack, will speak at the Angel Horse Fundraiser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ron Parker said he only grew up 7 miles from the World Trade Center, affectionately called the twin towers.  "I was there from September 11th, that morning, until January 6th 2002.," Parker said."I lost 45 of my friends there. My day...
    Sixteen years ago, the World Trade Center was attacked on September eleventh. Saturday, Ron Parker, a first responder in New York city at the time of the attack, will speak at the Angel Horse Fundraiser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ron Parker said he only grew up 7 miles from the World Trade Center, affectionately called the twin towers.  "I was there from September 11th, that morning, until January 6th 2002.," Parker said."I lost 45 of my friends there. My day...
  • Flood-Damaged Vehicle Scam Warning

    Flood-Damaged Vehicle Scam Warning

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:05 PM EDT2017-09-21 23:05:25 GMT

    Tips on how to not fall victim to scammers who take flood-damaged vehicles and make them look like new.

    Tips on how to not fall victim to scammers who take flood-damaged vehicles and make them look like new.