Poems, Photos and Dismembered Foot: What Happened to Il Hun Ro in Yellowstone Park?
No suicide note was discovered, and authorities do not suspect foul play.
When Il Hun Ro’s dismembered foot, still inside a black shoe with bone attached, floated to the surface of the Abyss Pool at the West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, the park ranger who discovered it “found it odd.”
Stranger still, even after finding a photo album, two journals filled with poems and notes from his readings, $447 in his wallet and a laptop — all of which belonged to Il — investigators are no closer to understanding what happened to the 70-year-old man from Los Angeles.
What authorities do know is that no suicide note was discovered, and they don’t suspect foul play.
As new details were released by the National Park Service Tuesday, following the grisly discovery last summer, investigators seem to have more questions than answers related to Il’s death.
Authorities did learn that Il stayed at The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, about an hour’s drive away from where his foot was eventually found, and his Kia Niro crossover SUV was eventually the only visitor’s car left parked near the Abyss Pool, the Associated Press said. Investigators, however, are still unsure whether he traveled alone.
The contents of the two notebooks authorities found were not written in English, but Google Translate revealed poems and other notes written inside, and nothing that suggested a suicide note.
Following the discovery of Il’s severed foot in August 2022, the West Thumb Geyser Basin was temporarily closed to visitors, according to an earlier statement. Park officials also warned the public, “Visitors are reminded to stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface.”
More than 20 people have died and more injured due to Yellowstone’s geothermal pools, geysers, mudpots, steam vents and hot springs, according to park officials.
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