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'Bring him home' Missing Irish hiker Cian McLaughlin's family scour Wyoming park for him

"I am thinking of Cian at every moment and trying to connect with him and my hope is to bring him home, to have some resolution"

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Cian McLaughlin was last seen on June 8

Cian McLaughlin was last seen on June 8

Cian McLaughlin was last seen on June 8

The family of missing Irishman Cian McLaughlin, who was last seen on June 8 while hiking in the US state of Wyoming, have appealed for the public's help in finding him. 

Even as the official search operation has been scaled back, Cian's mother Gráinne and other members of the family have been scouring Grand Teton National Park for signs of the 27-year-old who Gráinne described as a “very outgoing guy."

“He loved the outdoors,” she told RTE's Morning Ireland. “He was living here for two years. He had dual citizenship and so he was working as a snowboard instructor in the winter and in the bars in the summer.

“If you met Cian, he’d stop and have a chat. He was loved by all his friends; he had a lot of friends in Ireland and in the US and he was living the life.

“He was well versed in the mountains,” she added. “He grew up hiking with me and my mom and dad and my brother, so he (had all the) equipment and gear.

“We are assured it was a day hike and that he possibly he went off trail. At that time of year, although it's June, it's spring here, so the weather was really, really warm.

“There would have been melt off from the snow, so all of the waterfalls were gushing.

“There would have been melt underneath, ice, so it is a tricky time of year.

“I know he's up there somewhere. I went through a huge amount of grief at that time. We had got in on June 17 and pretty much two days later we were told that it was a recovery and that was really really hard.

“But I'd like to bring him home.”

His uncle, Colm O'Higgins, says they are appealing to the public for information.

"Knowing Cian as being very sociable and chatty, he definitely would have talked to people and so someone may remember having seen him on the trail," Mr O'Higgins said.

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Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming has published an appeal for Cian McLaughlin (27) who was last seen at 2.30pm on Tuesday, June 8

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming has published an appeal for Cian McLaughlin (27) who was last seen at 2.30pm on Tuesday, June 8

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming has published an appeal for Cian McLaughlin (27) who was last seen at 2.30pm on Tuesday, June 8

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"Our appeal is to anybody who was in the park around June 8th and who may have taken photos. We are asking them to have a look at their pictures and see if there is someone in the background. They can share them with us at bringcianhome@gmail.com," he said.

Grand Teton National Park hit the headlines last month after the body of Gabby Petito was found there. She had disappeared while on a cross country trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

The discovery brought an end to a high-profile missing persons case.

Now, Cian McLaughlin's family are also looking for closure.

When he was first reported missing, a massive rescue mission swung into action.

Dozens of park rangers and volunteers were involved along with dog teams and helicopters.

After days of searching, however, the operation was scaled back.

Grand Teton National Park Chief Ranger Erika Jostad said: "The search for Cian won't end from our perspective until we find him."

“We deployed a number of resources out in the field. We had over 70 searchers each day and these are people who are traveling around on foot.

“We had search dogs who are trained to scent items and locate people and we used a variety of aircraft resources.

“We had people searching from helicopters and we used our Civil Air Patrol doing forward looking infrared which picks up heat signatures on the landscape.

“That, coupled with the investigative work happening behind the scenes, was to try to narrow the places where we're looking.

"Tactics shift over time,” she added. “We are coming towards winter, and we expect the snow to fall. That will make some of the clues we are looking for a little more difficult to find.”

But until the snow makes it impossible to do so, Cian McLaughlin's mother Gráinne has vowed to continue her search.

"I am thinking of Cian at every moment and trying to connect with him and my hope is to bring him home, to have some resolution and bring him home," she said.

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