Remains of 2015 Yellowstone River drowning victim found, identified

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The remains of a 21-year-old man from China who likely drowned in 2015 while working a summer in Yellowstone National Park have been found.

Park authorities say they have positively identified the remains as Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang, a seasonal concessionaire employee in Yellowstone who was last seen being swept down the Yellowstone River in the northern section of the park on Thursday, July 23, 2015.

An extensive search for Xiang was launched at the time, aided by several dog teams, dozens of ground searchers, and helicopter teams. Search efforts turned up no sign of Xiang.

In February 2018, staff discovered human bones in the vicinity of the 2015 drowning site. Law enforcement officers collected the remains and sent them to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for DNA testing. In June 2019, the park received confirmation that the remains were of Xiang.

Yellowstone National Park law enforcement officers have stayed in touch with Xiang’s family since the incident. When the remains were positively identified, staff notified the family. In July 2019, Xiang’s family returned to the park and collected his remains. They have since returned to China.

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