The heartbroken mother of an Irishman, who disappeared from a mountain park in America a year ago, fears her son is dead.
Grainne McLaughlin’s 27-year-old son, Cian, from Dublin, went missing from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming last year on June 8.
She revealed her worst fears for her son – exactly a year after he was reported missing to police – as it emerged an American had lied to rescuers about Cian’s whereabouts.
READ MORE: Family of missing Irishman Cian McLaughlin launch new appeal for information after months of search
Rescuers say the lies cost more than 500 hours of life’s time in the search for Cian – and mum Grainne now believes he is dead, fearing ‘something tragic may have happened’.
Recovery teams are hoping the melting snow will help find Cian’s body.
Grainne said: “From everyone’s perspective, we know he went missing in the mountains, he went missing on that hike and something tragic happened.
“As the snow begins to melt, rangers continued to study the map and terrain and identify other search areas.
“There is still a lot of snow and we have high temperatures, which is melting the snow at a rapid rate, and it makes the ground conditions very, very dangerous, especially in the higher areas.
The distraught mother arrived in Wyoming days after Cian disappeared and was told the search would be a ‘recovery operation’.
She said last year: ‘I went through a lot of heartbreak in that time. It’s not a rescue, it’s a recovery.
“But I would like to take him home. I know he’s up there somewhere.
It has also emerged that American Heather Mycoskie has been fined €16,500 for giving false information about spotting Cian.
Cian went on a hike June 8, failed to show up for work June 10, co-workers then reported him missing to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office late June 12, and the search began early morning June 13. June.
It was announced five days later that rescue efforts were being scaled back.
Mycoskie, then, on June 21 — three days after rescuers revealed plans to downgrade Cian’s search — provided the false information.
Authorities said Friday that Mycoskie lied to ensure the search continued.
Mycoskie, 40, gave an address in the town of Jackson, Wyoming, where Cian lived and worked as a bartender in the summer and a snowboard instructor in the winter as a dual Irish and US passport holder.
Dozens of helicopter search missions were flown until park rangers announced new “limited mode” tactics for patrolling the backcountry.
Grand Teton National Park spokesman CJ Adams claimed “precious time was lost” by Mycoskie’s lies – but vowed to find Cian.
He said: “As a direct result of false information, approximately 532 hours were spent conducting research, managing research efforts, conducting follow-up investigations and concluding reports.
“This individual is banned from Grand Teton National Park for a period of five years and has been ordered to pay restitution of $17,600.”
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