The search for a 68-year-old man from Burbank, California, who was thought to be missing from the campsite on the Madison Arm of Hebgen Lake, ended after his body was found underwater about 300 feet from the shore of the lake near his campsite, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office reported in a press release issued late Friday morning.

The sheriff's office reported they were searching for the man on Thursday night after receiving a report of a vehicle parked in the day use area of the Madison Arm Road near West Yellowstone. There they found a campsite that appeared to be in use but didn't find anyone present at the site. They also found an empty pontoon boat beached on the north side of the Madison Arm and some clothing on the shore of Hebgen Lake.

On Friday, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue deployed additional resources to search for the camper. Posse, dive team, and canine teams aided in the search. Additionally, a helicopter from Central Helicopters, Yellowstone National Park Rangers, Forest Service Law Enforcement, and personnel from Flathead County Sheriff’s Office with specialized underwater detection equipment responded to assist as well. 

Evidence at the scene indicated that the man may have entered the water in an attempt to retrieve a small pontoon fishing boat that had blown away.

The cause of death is still under investigation by a Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy Coroner.

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