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Dead man whose foot was found in Yellowstone hot spring is identified

The circumstances of the death of Il Hun Ro, 70, at the Abyss Pool hot spring are unknown, but no foul play is suspected.
Abyss Pool at West Thumb Geyser Basin.
Abyss Pool at West Thumb Geyser Basin.Diane Renkin / NPS

Authorities have identified the man whose foot was found floating in a Yellowstone National Park hot spring three months ago, the park said Thursday.

Il Hun Ro, 70, of Los Angeles, died in the incident on the morning of July 31, the National Park Service said in a statement.

His foot in a shoe was found floating in the hot spring in Wyoming on Aug. 16.

No one is believed to have seen what happened, and how he died was not clear, the park service said. Investigators do not suspect foul play.

“Based on a lack of evidence, the circumstances surrounding the death of Ro remain unknown,” the statement said.

DNA evidence led to the identification, the park service said. The family has been notified.

The Abyss Pool, in the West Thumb Geyser Basin, is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It is one of the deepest hot springs in the park, at more than 50 feet, according to the park’s website.

More than 20 people are known to have died in thermal features in Yellowstone since 1890, park officials have said.

Last year, two people were injured in hot springs there, one of them a 20-year-old woman who was seriously burned after she went into Maiden’s Grave Spring to save her dog. The dog was pulled out but later died.

Yellowstone National Park warns visitors to always stay on boardwalks and trails and to use extreme caution around the features.