DENVER (KDVR) — As much attention as Gabby Petito has commanded, she’s far from the only person to go missing in the National Park system.
Authorities confirmed they found the missing YouTuber’s remains near Grand Teton National Park and the FBI says Petito’s death has been ruled a homicide.
Grand Teton National Park is not a comparatively high source of missing persons. Nationwide, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the areas most prone to missing and injured persons in the wild.
Out of 423 national parks, only Gateway National Recreation Area, Lake Mead National Recreational Area, Grand Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park had more search and rescue operations in 2017, the most recent year of data.
In Colorado, RMNP accounts for the overwhelming majority of search and rescue missions at national parks.
In 2017, the U.S. National Park Service tracked 198 reported search and rescue incidents in Colorado’s national parks. Of them, 165 happened in RMNP.
A small share of these cases go unsolved. NPS cold case files give greater odds of finding missing persons to RMNP than others.
Yosemite National Park and Grand Canyon National Park together make up the majority of missing persons cold cases in the national parks service.
Despite its relatively high number of search and rescue missions, RMNP has only two missing persons cold cases.
James Pruitt, a 70-year-old man, went missing in 2019.
Before that, 10-year-old Robert Bizup went missing near Estes Park in 1958. His remains were discovered in 1959.