Woman fined for providing false information during search for missing Irish hiker Cian McLaughlin
She was also banned from Grand Teton park, Wyoming for five years.
A woman who knowingly provided false information and a false report during the search for a missing Irish hiker has been fined $17,600 (approx. €16,500).
40-year-old Heather Mycoskie, previously of Jackson, Wyoming, knowingly provided false information and a false report in the search for Cian McLaughlin last year, authorities said.
Cian McLaughlin, originally from Dublin, was last seen in Grand Teton Park, Wyoming, on 8 June, 2021.
As a direct result of Mycoskie’s false report, authorities said approximately 532 hours were spent conducting searches, managing search efforts, conducting follow-up investigations and completing associated reports.
Mycoskie reported she had seen McLaughlin in the late afternoon/early evening of Tuesday, 8 June, 2021, the day of McLaughlin’s disappearance.
The US Department of the Interior National Park Service said she provided a "very detailed description of McLaughlin" and claimed she had spoken to him, at which point he'd told her where he lived, where he was from, and his place of employment.
She told investigators the missing man was hiking on the south side of the Bradley-Taggart moraine in Grand Teton National Park, and that he was headed south towards Taggart Lake, where he planned to jump off his favourite rock into the water.
An investigation revealed Mycoskie never saw anyone matching McLaughlin’s description while computer data showed that McLaughlin had extensively conducted internet searches on Delta Lake - a different area to where Mycoskie claimed she'd seen him - just prior to his hike.
As well as receiving a fine, Mycoskie was also banned from Grand Teton National Park for five years.
US authorities said search efforts for Cian McLaughlin will continue this summer.