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Search and rescue crews discovered Craig Clouatre, a 40-year-old Livingston, Montana man, on Friday morning, two days after he left for a hike with a friend and split up, Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler announced later that day.
“It appears he had an encounter with a grizzly and unfortunately did not survive,” Bichler wrote.
Clouatre – whose social media frequently showed him hiking or outdoors – was last seen Wednesday morning, when he went hiking with a friend and the pair went separate ways, the sheriff’s office said.
“They split up at some point later in the morning,” Bichler told the Livingston Enterprise. “When the other man returned to their vehicle and his friend wasn’t there, he called us and we began searching.”
The search for Clouatre took place largely in the Absaroka Mountains’ Six Mile Creek region. It consisted of teams on foot and horseback, and helicopter search crews, the sheriff’s office said on social media. As of Friday morning, authorities were working to return Craig’s remains to his family.
On Saturday, a woman who identified herself as Clouatre’s wife described how she loved Craig “with every single fiber of me.”
“To say we are broken is an understatement,” Jamie Clouatre wrote. “The support in this community is incredible and I know it comes from Craig…who he was, a joy, a truly kind, good, GOOD man. There is no one else like him in the entire world.”
A GoFundMe created to help the family describes how the Clouatres “lost almost everything” in a house fire two years ago.
“Anyone who has met Craig, had a friend in him,” the page states. “He was a man full of joy and kindness. And more then (sic) anything, he loved his family.”