Owner of Foot Found in Yellowstone Hot Spring ID'd

Il Hun Ro of Los Angeles died in 'unwitnessed incident' at Abyss Pool in July
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2022 7:08 AM CDT
Updated Nov 18, 2022 8:35 AM CST
Employee Spots Foot in Shoe in Yellowstone Hot Spring
In this photo, the Abyss Pool hot spring is seen in Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming, in June 2015.   (Diane Renkin/National Park Service via AP)
UPDATE Nov 18, 2022 8:35 AM CST

The partial foot found in a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park in mid-August belonged to a 70-year-old man who is believed to have died weeks earlier. Il Hun Ro of Los Angeles was identified in the last three weeks using DNA analysis, park officials said Thursday, per Fox News. "The investigation determined, to the best of our knowledge, that an unwitnessed incident involving one individual happened on the morning of July 31, 2022, at Abyss Pool, and no foul play occurred," according to a statement. "Based on a lack of evidence, the circumstances surrounding the death of Ro remain unknown."

Aug 19, 2022 7:08 AM CDT

Yellowstone National Park officials are investigating after a park employee spotted part of a foot, in a shoe, floating in a hot spring in the southern part of the park, officials said Thursday. Tuesday's discovery at Abyss Pool led to the temporary closure of the West Thumb Geyser Basin and its parking lot. The area has since reopened, reports the AP. The park didn't have any other information about the investigation to make public on Thursday, park spokesperson Morgan Warthin said.

Abyss Pool, located west of the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, park officials said. At 53 feet deep, it's one of Yellowstone's deepest hot springs, reports NBC News. It's 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 what happens with geysers in the park, according to the park's website. The Guardian notes that the park's hot springs have proved deadly before: An Oregon man was dissolved in a hot spring in 2016; more recently, a woman suffered burns after rushing in after her dog.

(More Yellowstone National Park stories.)

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