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Grand Teton National Park
Cian McLaughlin

Woman fined for providing false information in search for missing Irishman in Wyoming mountains

Cian McLaughlin was last seen on 8 June 2021 before a mountain hike in Wyoming.

THE US NATIONAL Parks Service has announced that a woman provided false information in the search for Dubliner Cian McLaughlin who went missing a year ago in Wyoming.

The woman, who has been named as Heather Mycoskie, provided a false account of meeting Cian McLaughlin on the day of his disappearance and fabricated a conversation with him in which he said he was travelling to a specific part of Grand Teton National Park.

According to the Grand Teton National Park Service, Mycoskie has been banned from the park for five years and ordered to pay a fine of $17,600 (€16,603) to the Department of Treasury.

Two weeks after Cian McLaughlin’s disappearance Mycoskie told investigators that she had seen him hiking south towards Taggart Lake.

In a statement today, the National Parks Service said: 

“As a direct result of Mycoskie’s false report, approximately 532 hours were spent conducting searches, managing search efforts, conducting follow up investigations, and completing associated reports.

“This wasted valuable time that could have been focused on searching areas of higher probability.”

Witnesses told the parks service that Mycoskie apparently fabricated the sighting to ensure search efforts continued after park rangers announced they would scale back the search.

Appearing on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning, Grainne McLaughlin spoke about how her son Cian was a snowboarding instructor in the winter and worked in bars during the summer.

She has visited the area numerous times since her son’s disappearance, and said that when she learned of the false report she tried not to be upset.

“We quickly put that behind us to focus on the higher mountain areas. Now we are back here in Wyoming as the snow begins to melt still, the rangers have continued to study the map and terrain and identify other search areas. And so we are hoping now to refocus the attention of people to the higher mountain areas.”

However melting snow in the summer can make ground conditions dangerous.

“We found a couple of days ago when we hiked up we couldn’t go very far unless you were with a guide, unless you had some serious mountaineering equipment to go in,” Grainne McLaughlin said.

Local hikers have been told to continue to be on the lookout for a red Apple watch, a red iPhone 12 mini, gold wire rimmed sunglasses and a silver U shaped pendant which Cian McLaughlin had in his possession when he was last seen.

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