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Yellowstone officials identify man whose foot was found in hot spring

DNA showed the foot belonged to a 70-year-old man from Los Angeles, the National Park Service said.
Credit: Kevin Hogan
Abyss Pool in West Thumb Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park. Photo taken Aug. 30, 2018.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Almost three months after part of a foot in a shoe was found floating in a Yellowstone National Park hot spring, the victim has been identified through DNA analysis.

Yellowstone National Park said on Thursday that the human foot found in Abyss Pool in August belonged to 70-year-old Il Hun Ro from Los Angeles.

RELATED: Foot found in Yellowstone pool, related to incident in July

The investigation determined the foot was related to an unwitnessed incident involving Ro on July 31, 2022, in the hot spring in the West Thumb Geyser Basin, in the southern part of the park. Officials said no foul play occurred.

Park rangers said because of the lack of evidence, the circumstances surrounding the death of Ro remain unknown.

The National Park Service said the investigation has been concluded and no other details surrounding the incident will be released.

Abyss Pool, located west of the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, is 53 feet deep and the temperature is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, park officials said. It is on the south side of the southern loop through the park.

In such hot springs, superheated water cools as it reaches the surface, sinks and is replaced by hotter water from below. The circulation prevents the water from reaching the temperature needed to set off an eruption like happens with geysers in the park, according to the park's website.

Yellowstone reminded visitors to stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas and to be careful around thermal features. The ground around such features is fragile and thin.

RELATED: Yellowstone provides update on foot found floating in hot spring


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