Authorities searching for Cian McLaughlin say more than 500 hours of "valuable time" was wasted after a woman provided false information in the search for the Irish man.
A year after Cian McLaughlin, 27, was last seen in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, his family and park officials are reigniting the search for the missing Irish man.
McLaughlin's mother Gráinne has returned to Wyoming to mark the one-year anniversary of her son's disappearance in an attempt to refocus search efforts.
Her return to the US comes as officials at Grand Teton National Park confirmed that a woman, Heather Mycoskie, 40, has been fined $17,600 and banned from entering the park after providing authorities with false information during the initial search for McLaughlin last year.
Authorities said on June 9 that Mycoskie, previously of Jackson, Wyoming, provided false information and filed a false report about seeing an individual matching McLaughlin's description.
Mycoskie told authorities that she saw McLaughlin hiking on the south side of the Bradley-Taggart moraine, and also said McLaughlin told her that he planned to jump into Taggart Lake off his favorite rock.
Park authorities said 532 hours of "valuable time was wasted" due to the false information provided.
Heather Mycoskie, previously of JAC, WY, knowingly provided false info & false report in search for missing hiker Cian McLaughlin. Per deferred prosecution agreement, Mycoskie is banned from Grand Teton for 5 years & ordered to pay restitution. (1/2)— Grand Teton National Park (@GrandTetonNPS) June 9, 2022
Info: https://t.co/Bb8nTEOFQO pic.twitter.com/dpnx3JLnfi
Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Gráinne McLaughlin said it was upsetting to know that valuable time had been lost in the search for her son.
However, she said her family was informed of the development during a visit to the park last October.
"We very quickly put that behind us to refocus on the higher mountain areas and now that we are back here in Wyoming as the snow begins to melt, the rangers have continued to study the map and terrain and identify other search areas," McLaughlin told Morning Ireland.
She said conditions on the ground in Grand Teton were "very, very dangerous" due to rapidly melting snow, especially in the higher areas of the park.
She said her son was drawn to the park because he "loved the outdoors".
"Cian was a very outgoing, friendly, and sociable kind of guy, he was here in Wyoming for two years where he was a snowboard instructor in the winter and worked in the local bars in the summer," she said.
"From everybody’s point of view, we know he went missing on the mountains, that something tragic happened."
McLaughlin told RTÉ that park rangers are currently putting up new posters in the park without the false information provided last year, while search parties are still looking for his red iPhone, his red watch, his sunglasses, and a silver chain.
The updated missing person poster for Cian McLaughlin.