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Bodies of 2 missing men who drove UTV on ice at Keyhole State Park found

Keyhole State Park (File Photo)

CASPER, Wyo. — The search for two missing men who took a utility task vehicle onto the frozen reservoir at Keyhole State Park ended Sunday when the Crook County Sheriff’s Office recovered their bodies, authorities said.

The men were part of a group of three Crook County individuals who drove a UTV onto the ice while emergency services were responding to another incident in which a man fell through the ice while driving his UTV on the reservoir around 9:10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, the local sheriff’s office reported.

Witnesses reported that they last saw the men driving across the reservoir but said they lost sight of them as the men headed out onto the ice, per the sheriff’s office, which says emergency personnel located and rescued the initial man one of the group of three.

The two rescued men were taken by ambulance to Campbell County Memorial Hospital, with search and rescue operations to locate the other two men continuing until 11 p.m., when they were suspended due to winter weather conditions, per the release.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, search efforts resumed, with ice rescue units walking out to the area that the second UTV was last seen heading toward, the release states.

“There was a substantial area of open water in this area,” Crook County Sheriff’s Office says. “[Search and rescue] units were unable to locate any of the missing individuals in the area, but were able to find evidence of a possible entry point [where] the UTV entered the water.”

At 11 a.m. Friday, the efforts to rescue the two missing men were reclassified as a recovery mission. That mission continued until 4 p.m. Sunday, when both were recovered, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office reported.

“The Crook County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone for their efforts and support. It was an extremely difficult mission,” Sheriff Jeff Hodge stated on social media. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and the Pine Haven community.”