After two-week search, no signs of man

by Hungry Horse News
| August 12, 2020 6:56 AM

After another week of searching, including using a remote-controlled underwater vehicle to search the depths of Kintla Lake, a search for a missing Columbia Falls man in Glacier National Park is winding down, park officials said Monday.

No new clues have been found in the search for 68-year-old Barry J. Tragen. The search effort will now transition to a limited continuous status, meaning the search and investigation will stay open, but active work in the field will be limited and focused on finding new clues, the park said.

Tragen’s vehicle was seen parked at Kintla Lake on July 22. Park staff initiated a search for Tragen on July 25 after he did not return to his vehicle. Over the past two weeks, search efforts have included ground search teams, canine search teams, aerial observations, and water observations using boats and a remotely operated underwater vehicle.

On Aug. 4, a pair of sunglasses believed to belong to Tragen were found in Kintla Creek. Canine search units were brought in to search the area, with dogs showing interest at the outlet of Kintla Lake. Ground search teams, boats, and a remotely operated underwater vehicle were used to search the area, but no signs of Tragen were found.

“All available clues have been thoroughly investigated and resources depleted in the search for Mr. Tragen,” said Incident Commander Jim Dahlstrom. “We remain hopeful that additional clues come forward so that an active search effort may be renewed.”

Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Flathead County Search and Rescue, Two Bear Air, National Park Service Investigative Services, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have assisted Glacier with search efforts.

Anyone that may have information regarding Tragen’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the park tip line at 406-888-7077.

If Tragen is not found, he would be the second man believed to have vanished in the Park in two years. In July of 2019, Mark Sinclair, 66, went missing after leaving his dog and keys inside his rig at Logan Pass.

Sinclair was originally from Vermont, but had been living in Montana.

As in Tragen’s case, park officials and local search and rescue teams searched the area for a couple of weeks, but to no avail.