Search for Missing Columbia Falls Man Winding Down

Barry J. Tragen, 68, has not been seen since July 22; search concentrated on area around Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park

By Andy Viano
Barry J. Tragen. Courtesy photo

The search for a Columbia Falls man missing in the North Fork area of Glacier National Park transitioned to “limited continuous status” on Monday, Aug. 10.

Barry J. Tragen, 68, has not been since he parked his vehicle near Kintla Lake on July 22. When he did not return to the vehicle three days later, investigators launched a coordinated search of the area. No sign of Tragen was discovered until Aug. 4, when sunglasses likely belonging to Tragen were found in Kintla Creek. Search dogs came to the area and were “showing interest” near the outlet of Kintla Lake, but investigators have seen no additional signs of the man.

At its height, the search for Tragen included officials from Glacier Park, the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, the FBI and local search and rescue teams, including Two Bear Air Rescue. After the sunglasses were found, officials used a remote-operated underwater vehicle to probe Kintla Lake, in addition to air, ground and above-water resources.

In its now-limited status, the search for Tragen remains active but work “will be limited and focused on finding new clues,” according to a press release.

Tragen is still considered a missing person as of Aug. 10. He is described as 5 feet, 10 inches and approximately 220 pounds with gray hair and hazel eyes. Anyone who believes they may have seen Tragen is asked to call the park’s tip line at (406) 888-7077.

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