Authorities Report Finding Human Remains Near Polebridge

According to online forums, a local man had been camping near the Ford River access site located on the North Fork, but had not been seen by family members since July 2

By Beacon Staff
The North Fork River in Polebridge on July 3, 2023. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Flathead County authorities on Thursday announced the July 12 discovery of human remains north of Polebridge, in an area west of Glacier National Park near Tepee Lake.

“The remains were taken by the Flathead County Coroner’s Office to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for autopsy,” according to a two-paragraph release from Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino. “At this time, the identity cannot be confirmed.”

The release notes that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) assisted in the investigation and confirmed the remains were scavenged by a bear after the victim was deceased. After consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FWP will take no further action regarding the bear.

According to an online forum, family members have been searching a similar area for a missing local man they haven’t seen since July 2 at the Ford River access site on the North Fork Flathead River, not far from the Tepee Lake area. The online post states that the 47-year-old man stayed behind to extend his camping trip but had not been heard from since, and seeks help locating him.

Reached Thursday evening, Heino confirmed that his department had been actively searching for the missing man named in the online forum, but was waiting on autopsy results, including DNA and dental records, to confirm his identity.

This story will be updated.