Parents of a 19-year-old Michigan man who vanished on a day hike in Glacier National Park expressed their struggle with accepting their loss Monday, but also extended thanks to the park staff for their efforts in finding him.
Jakson Kreiser, who was spending his first summer in Glacier working for a park concessionaire, went for a day hike on July 27 and failed to return. He reportedly intended to hike from Logan Pass to the Avalanche Lake area, a cross-country route that park officials described as "treacherous" due to its steepness, cliff bands, waterfalls, and dense vegetation.
After a week of searching, park officials announced Sunday that they were scaling back efforts in light of a lack of clues. On Mondaym, the Kreiser family released the following statement:
“It is extremely difficult for us to imagine that we have lost our beautiful son, Jakson. We believe that he has found the world’s greatest resting place. Jakson absolutely fell in love with Glacier National Park, all that it has to offer, as well as all of the people he came to know.
"On the 28th of July we were informed that Jakson had not returned from a day hike he took on the 27th. The days since this have obviously been the most difficult of our lives. The outpouring of love and prayers from our families, friends and strangers has touched us deeply.
"Jakson and our family have been fortunate to have so many friends in Michigan. The love and support shown by all who attended his prayer vigil on August 2nd was overwhelming - we want to thank all that attended - we love you. We were also very grateful to get to know Jakson's new friends at Glacier National Park and we will cherish our time with them.
"Throughout this difficult ordeal we feel blessed to have been embraced by the Glacier National Park family, to whom we would like to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks. These men and women have been concerned, caring, courageous and amazingly compassionate in their search for our Jakson. We also want to thank all of the extended family here at Glacier National Park including all of the assisting agencies and the folks at the Lake McDonald Lodge.
"While we have appreciated the concern for Jakson we want to thank you for respecting our privacy during these difficult days and ask that our privacy continues to be respected.”
Glacier Park officials said Monday that "(N)ew clues will be investigated as they come forward."