Lovell Teen Dies at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Lovell Teen Dies at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Written by on June 19, 2021

19-year-old Lovell resident Dominic Hunder drowned while visiting the Bighorn National Recreation Area – a tragic development after an intense search.

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area announced that Dominic Hunder was missing on Saturday, June 19. A few hours later, it was confirmed that Hunder was found dead and his body recovered.

According to the official timeline of events, Hunder was visiting Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area with friends. The group was swimming near Barry’s Landing on the Montana side of the N.P.S. site.

Around 4:00 p.m., Hunder was swimming when “he became fatigued and slipped underneath the water.” After he slipped under, he failed to resurface.

A 911 call was placed to the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Dispatch at 4:25 p.m. Law enforcement officers mobilized, and Barry’s Landing Boat Launch and Hillsboro parking areas were closed.

Rangers responded to search the area by vessel and the shoreline with the assistance of the Lovell Fire Department, Ambulance, Big Horn County Sheriff Department, and Big Horn County Search and Rescue. The search for Hunder included vessels, underwater cameras, divers, and walking the shorelines.

After hours of searching the area, there was no sign of Hunder. The search was suspended at 1 a.m. Saturday morning due to low visibility.

Later that day, the search for Dominic Hunder resumed. The responding agencies were joined by a U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team from Billings, Montana.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, Hunder’s was found deceased.  U.S. Water Rescue Divers recovered his body, assisted by N.P.S. rangers, Carbon County (MT) Sheriff, and Big Horn County (WY) Sheriff’s deputies.

An investigation into the incident has been launched by the National Park Service.

“We are saddened by this unfortunate event. Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the victim. I commend the multi-agency search and rescue team for their hard work and perseverance.” Acting Superintendent, Raymond McPadden.

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