A Montana hiker who went missing earlier this week was found dead by a search and rescue team after being mauled by a grizzly bear north of Yellowstone Park on Wednesday, March 23. 

Craig Clouatre, 40, of Livingston, who went hiking in the Six Mile Creek area of the Absaroka Mountains, north of Yellowstone National Park in Montana, was first reported missing on Wednesday, March 23. Clouatre reportedly went trekking along with a friend possibly to hunt for antlers.

However, during the hike, the two friends reportedly got separated. When the victim's pal returned to their car later that day, he realized that Clouatre had not reached back. After waiting for a while and not hearing from Clouatre, the friend called the officers and alerted them about Clouatre's disappearance, New York Post reported.

Law enforcement immediately put together a search team on Wednesday night and concentrated their search efforts on the Six Mile Creek area of the Absaroka Mountains, north of Yellowstone National Park. In addition to a ground team, search and rescue teams also rode on horseback and in helicopters looking for the missing hiker.

After an extensive search spanning several hours, the officers finally located Clouatre's body on Thursday, March 24. According to the officers, Clouatre seemingly encountered a grizzly bear and unfortunately did not survive the ordeal.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing this update. After an extensive search this morning we have located Craig. It appears he had an encounter with a grizzly and unfortunately did not survive," Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler posted to Facebook on Friday.

Bichler added that the officers were working to bring Clouatre's body back home.

The authorities have provided no further details as to where they found the victim's body or why they believe a grizzly bear was responsible for his death, NBC News reported.

Clouatre, who hails from Massachusetts, reportedly moved from his native town to Montana more than two decades ago. According to Clouatre's father, after moving to Montana, Clouatre met his future wife, Jamie, and decided to make a home there.

“He was a joy to have as a son all the way around,” Clouatre's father, David Clouatre said. “He was a good man, a good, hardworking family man.”

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