US park rangers are searching for a 27-year-old Dubliner missing in Grand Teton National Park in the state of Wyoming after his car was found at the start of a hiking trail.
Cian McLaughlin, who studied at Dublin Institute of Technology and works as a snowboard instructor at Jackson Hole in the Rocky Mountains, has not been seen for almost a week.
The Dublin man was reported missing on Sunday morning by Teton County Sheriff's Office. His car was later found at the start of a hiking trail in the 310,000-acre park.
The National Park Service, the US government agency leading the search for Mr McLaughlin, said he was last seen in the town of Jackson last Tuesday afternoon.
He failed to report for work in Jackson on Thursday and the local sheriff’s office received a missing-person report late on Saturday night.
Grand Teton National Park was contacted early on Sunday when the sheriff’s office received information indicating that Mr McLaughlin may be hiking in the park. A spokeswoman for the National Park Service (NPS) said that park teams with search dogs were out searching the park for the missing man.
She said that Mr McLaughlin is believed to have headed out for a “day hike” without a backpack with him but that “no one knows where he intended to go or where he did go”.
His car was located at Lupine Meadows Trailhead on Sunday morning at an elevation of 6,732ft. The NPS spokeswoman said that there is still snow in the park at about 8,000ft.
“Aerial reconnaissance and ground-search operations were conducted in high probability areas in the park on Sunday, June 13th, in search of McLaughlin with no evidence or leads about his whereabouts. Search operations will continue early Monday morning, June 14th,” said the NPS.
In a public appeal, the NPS called on anyone travelling in “backcountry” inside the park since last Tuesday to come forward if they have any information about Mr McLaughlin.
The Dubliner's Facebook page says he started working at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort last December and that he previously lived in the French ski resort of Chamonix.