A body believed to be missing 46-year-old Houston, Texas man Robert “Bob” Lowery was located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest during a search on Tuesday that was prompted by the heavy attention on the Gabby Petito case.
Teton County Sheriff’s deputies say it was that attention that assisted in locating what they believe are Bob’s remains in Bridger-Teton National Forest. The national park is the same location where Gabby’s remains were discovered on September 19.
The news comes more than a month after Bob vanished while visiting Wyoming. He was reported missing when his family was unable to get in touch with him.
An investigation into Bob’s whereabouts had been ongoing with the Teton County Sheriff’s Office, but new clues recently surfaced that prompted the official Search & Rescue callout, according to the release.
Deputy Chad Sachse told Dateline earlier this week that the widespread news coverage of the Gabby Petito case helped bring light to Bob’s case, and resulted in two hikers calling local authorities this past weekend with new information on his last known whereabouts.
The hikers told authorities they had encountered Bob on August 20, on the Black Canyon Trail, sitting on a rock, wearing a black baseball cap with a gold P, and carrying a black duffle bag with the Nike logo. Given this new information, Teton County Search & Rescue initiated a response and an official search was conducted on Tuesday.
After four hours of searching Teton Pass, Wyoming, and combing the thick timbered area surrounding Black Canyon, a popular hiking and mountain biking trail, a team with a search dog located a body fitting Bob’s description significantly off trail on a steep, timbered slope. His black Nike bag was nearby.
The cause of death is currently unknown, sheriff’s deputies said in the release. The family has been notified as authorities wait for verification.
Volunteers spent Tuesday afternoon recovering the body from the mountainside. On the search were 25 volunteers, along with three dog teams from the region, including from Jackson Hole Search Dogs and another from Driggs, Idaho. The search teams hiked more than 75 miles and covered 22,500 feet in elevation.
In the release, Teton County Search & Rescue expressed “gratitude to all those who helped in the search, and sends its most sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.”
Bob’s sister, Leigh Lowery, who has led the charge in the search for her brother, spoke to Dateline on Monday, and said their family had been concerned for weeks because it was unlike Bob to not be in touch with his loved ones, especially his two young children.
On Tuesday, she released a statement on Facebook thanking the local authorities and volunteers for their hard work and asked for privacy at this difficult time.
“At this time, we especially want to thank Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Sachse and his department for all of their work during this month that Bob has been missing. We also appreciate the search today by Teton County Search and Rescue volunteer teams and the care and concern demonstrated by so many in the Jackson Hole news media and community.”
“Bob has been a wonderful father, son, brother and friend. Our family wants to thank the news media and others involved in the search for our privacy at this difficult time.”