I’m sure by now you know the story of Gabby Petito, whose body was found in my “backyard” and whose fiancee is still on the run. While that story is interesting, there’s another body they found that I find even more intriguing.
Well, actually there are two other bodies they found around the same time. One is of a missing man from Texas, Robert “Bob” Lowery, who was found at the base of Teton Pass while rescuers were searching for Gabby. So they were able to bring closure to the mystery of that case.
But it’s not the body that is the topic of this post.
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my fathers come to passWake me up when September ends by Green Day
On September 7th 1968, Raymond Jones went elk hunting. It was his 39th birthday and the same day he also went missing south of Salmon, Idaho, which is about the same distance from me as Teton Park, where Gabby and Bob were found, but to the west instead of the east.
So technically, also in my “backyard”.
We know the area pretty well; it’s popular for elk hunting and is a great place to go camping, fishing, hiking, mushing, etc.
It’s God’s country and if you are like us, it’s probably where you’d want your ashes spread. If you are like Raymond, you’d probably want to die there doing what you love (if you had to die and you had a choice, of course).
Apparently that’s exactly what happened. Raymond Jones died up there in those beautiful mountains, on or near his birthday, leaving behind a wife and young kids, one of whom happened to share his birthday with him.
Jefferey Jones turned 12 years old the day his dad went missing. Can you imagine? That is such a difficult age to be under normal circumstances, but having your dad that you love and were close to and shared a birthday with go missing on your special day? I can’t begin to comprehend what that must have been like for him and then to go all these years without knowing what happened to his dad.
Until a couple weeks ago.
Three days after Jefferey turned 65 and his dad would have turned 92, an elk hunter took a shortcut he’d never taken before and stumbled upon the remains of Raymond Jones. He found a wallet, a boot and bones and soon the mystery was solved.
After 53 years (and three days)!
I nearly cried when I heard about it and thought to myself maybe… just maybe, Raymond’s spirit nudged that hunter to take that shortcut.
Maybe it was a belated birthday present to his boy.