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Body in North Platte identified as man who went missing at Edness K. Wilkins State Park in January

Emergency personnel search the icy river at EKW State Park for Bruce Wayne Campbell on Saturday. (Submitted Photo)

CASPER, Wyo. — A body recovered from the North Platte River on Sunday has been identified as Bruce Wayne Campbell, the man who went missing at Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park in January. Campbell was 60.

The Natrona County Coroner’s office released the identity on Wednesday. Next-of-kin have been

“The death is preliminarily being considered an accidental drowning,” the release said. “Mr. Campbell was believed to have fallen in the river on January 19th of this year and an extensive search was conducted by multiple County agencies.”

The case is still under investigation and no final determinations will be made until autopsy and toxicology results are obtained, the release said.

Campbell reportedly told his friends and family that he was going walking at Edness K. Wilkins State Park, a common practice for him, the day he went missing.  

Natrona County Sheriff’s Office deputies were first alerted by a citizen who reported an unattended vehicle at the park. Upon arrival, deputies located the vehicle and a dog on a leash roaming nearby. They also found a hole in the ice on the frozen river.

Natrona County Emergency Management personnel launched a search and rescue effort with sheriff’s deputies and county fire personnel. Teams covered more than 100 miles collectively over the ground and water in the week following Campbell’s disappearance, the sheriff’s office said.

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a release on Wednesday that the death is determined to be accidental.

“Based on the evidence obtained through our investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Campbell, investigators have concluded [he] fell through the ice into the river on Jan. 19, 2023,” they said in the release. “Our investigation has determined there to be no suspected criminal activity surrounding the death of Mr. Campbell.”

“This accident is an unfortunate tragedy, we hope the recovery of Mr. Campbell brings some closure to his loved ones,” they said, adding that the NCSO Victim Services Unit has worked closely with the family.