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Missing Wisconsin Couple Found Alive And Well [UPDATED]

Mark and Kristine Wathke




UPDATE (11:18 pm, Monday)
Park County Sheriff’s officials have released more information about the rescue of Wisconsin’s Mark and Kristine Wathke on Monday.

Park County Sheriff’s spokesperson, Lance Mathess, says that the Wathkes were found near the Long Lake area of U.S. Highway 212, also known as the Beartooth Highway, by Troy Barnett, owner of the K BAR Z Guest Ranch.

“Troy took it upon himself, after hearing news of the missing couple, to take his snowmobiles up there,” says Mathess.  “The couple was found stuck in the snow.”

U.S. Highway 212 has been closed since mid-September.  Mathess says the couple either disregarded or did not see the closure signs for the highway and became stuck in the snow last Tuesday.

“The snow can be deceiving up there.  It gets warm in the day and cold at night and it freezes over and gets a layer of ice on it.  You can think you’re driving on the highway, which actually you’re driving on six inches to a foot of snow and you can hit a weak spot, and boom, down on all fours and you’ll sink into the snow,” says Mathess.  “The [closure] signs are along the side of the road and they can be missed.  They are occasionally missed by people.”

As of Monday morning, the Wathkes are reported to be at the K Bar Z Ranch, and doing well.

(10:49 AM) The Park County, Wyoming Sheriff’s Department says a missing couple from Wisconsin has been found alive and well.

Deputies say a rancher who had heard about the couple’s disappearance went out for a quick search on his snowmobile and found the couple Monday around 8:45 a.m. Mountain time.

Deputies say Mark and Kristine Wathke, who were last seen Tuesday, were near Yellowstone Park when they drove down a road not realizing that it was closed because of the weather, and their car got stuck in the snow.

With enough fuel in the car to keep it running and keep warm, and also with food and water the Sheriffs Department noted they were doing well. They did not have cell phone service.

We will have more as information is released through the day.


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