Wyoming News Reporter Missing Near Cody
Authorities are asking the public for information as they work to track down a Powell man who hasn't been seen for nearly a week.
Gibson "Gib" Lee Mathers, 61, is a reporter for the Powell Tribune. He has been missing since Tuesday, Jan. 31, according to the Park County Sheriff's Office.
He is believed to be somewhere in the North Fork area west of Cody.
Authorities say he was last heard from Tuesday morning at about 7:30 a.m. when he spoke to his boss.
On Friday, a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper found his pickup truck abandoned in a pull out on Highway 14-16-20 about half a mile west of the Wapiti Campground, which sits 30 miles west of Cody.
Mathers is known to frequent the North Fork. His friends have described him as an avid hiker and photographer.
A local mail carrier saw Mathers parked on the highway between the Wapiti Campground and Elk Fork Bridge at about 11 a.m. Tuesday. He appeared to be taking pictures from inside his truck.
The mail carrier again saw Mathers' truck in the pull out at about 1:30 p.m., but Mathers was nowhere to be found.
Park County Search and Rescue scoured the area Friday and Saturday to no avail.
The search has been halted due to extreme winter weather.
"Our search teams were having to wade through heavy waist-deep snow in order to look for Gib," said Park County Sheriff Scott Steward.
"Our search dogs could not even get through the snow," Steward added. "They were limited to searching along the highway."
The search is complicated by the fact that searchers have no idea what happened to Mathers, what his intentions may have been or his direction of travel from the truck, Steward said.
When Mathers was last seen, the area had about two feet of snow. A winter storm moved through Wednesday and Thursday, leaving another 12-14 inches and covering any trace of Mathers' direction of travel.
"We've searched any and all areas we think that Gib may be, especially given he was a photographer," Steward said in a statement. "We also searched under bridges, along cliff sides and anywhere he may have taken shelter."
"But with no evidence as to exactly which way he went, there's simply too much area to cover in these conditions," Steward added. "When conditions in the search area improve, we will continue to look for him."
Searchers have found no evidence of foul play thus far. Steward remains hopeful that someone will come forward with additional information.
"We're really hoping that someone remembers seeing Gib on the North Fork on Tuesday and can tell us what he was doing, what he was wearing and, most importantly, where he was and which way he was headed," Steward emphasized.
Anyone with information can call the Park County Sheriff's Office at 307-527-8700.