CCSO Search and Rescue

BELT, Mont. - One man has been found dead and another is still missing in Sluice Boxes State Park.

Cascade County Sheriff, Jesse Slaughter, held a press conference this afternoon with details on the search and rescue efforts. 

Around 2:45pm on May 21, a 911 call came in saying witnesses saw 21-year-old Santiago Nadeau and 62-year-old Ernest Mac Murry, go into the water at Sluice Boxes State Park to rescue a dog. 

Crews with the sheriff's office, the Great Falls Police Department, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Fish Wildlife and Parks, and Cascade County Search and Rescue searched for the men throughout the night and found the 21-year-old dead. 

Slaughter says while nothing is official and confirmed yet, the cause of death is likely drowning.

"These streams and these rivers right now are extremely dangerous. This is not any time to be anywhere near or around water. The initial information is neither one of these individuals was wearing a life jacket. If you're going to be anywhere near or around water, especially at this time, even if you're not in it, if you're simply just on the bank, you need to be wearing a life jacket," said Slaughter. 

Both of the men are from Canada and all families have been notified. 

Slaughter says they're going to continue to search for Mac Murray as long as they can; the only thing that could potentially put a pause on any search and rescue efforts would be the weather.

The dog was recovered and is doing okay. 

Sluice Boxes will remain closed while they conduct their search and investigations. 

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