YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – Part of a foot in a shoe found floating in Abyss Pool at Yellowstone National Park in August belonged to a Los Angeles man, park officials said Thursday.
According to a news release from Yellowstone National Park, the foot belonged to Il Hun Ro, 70. Park law enforcement officers said they were able to make a positive identification based on DNA analysis conducted over the past three weeks, KRTV reported.
Family members were notified of the discovery, park officials said.
A park employee found Ro’s partial foot inside of a shoe in Abyss Pool in the park’s West Thumb Geyser Basin on Aug. 16, according to KULR-TV.
“Abyss Pool has a depth of more than 50 feet and is one of the deepest hot springs in the park. Its temperature is approximately 140 degrees,” Yellowstone National Park Public Affairs Officer Morgan Warthin said in a statement at the time.
On Thursday, park officials said that “an unwitnessed incident involving one individual” occurred at the Abyss Pool on July 31. No foul play occurred, officials said.
“Based on a lack of evidence, the circumstances surrounding the death of Ro remain unknown,” Thursday’s news release stated.
Injuries and deaths around hot springs in parks can occur when visitors step off boardwalks and trails, KTLA-TV reported.
“Boiling water surges just under the thin crust of most geyser basins, and many people have been severely burned when they have broken through the fragile surface,” the park said on its website, according to CBS News. “Some people have died.”
According to park officials, the investigation has ended.
Warthin declined to comment about what happened to the rest of Ro’s body or how investigators believe he died, The Associated Press reported. She said a full report would be released in the coming weeks.
According to the news organization, park officials said that at least 22 people have died in or around Yellowstone since 1890 from hot spring-related incidents.
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