Body of man who drowned near Natural Bridge Falls recovered

BIG TIMBER, Mont. - According to the Sweet Grass County Sheriff's Office, the body of a Billings man who drowned in the Boulder River in May has been recovered.

The sheriff's office says the body of Joseph Crawford, 48, was found on September 11 by a spelunker exploring the rock overhang below the falls at Natural Bridge.  

Crawford reportedly fell into the Boulder River above the falls at Natural Bridge on May 17, 2020. Authorities say recovery efforts at the time of the incident were unsuccessful due to high water and difficult terrain.


Original story:

Sweet Grass County Sheriff Alan Ronneberg says active search efforts have been suspended after a two-day search for a person who fell into the water near Natural Bridge Falls.

The Sweet Grass County Sheriff’s Office and Sweet Grass County Search and Rescue responded to Natural Bridge Falls Sunday to search for an individual who had fallen into the water near the falls. Sheriff Ronneberg says search efforts went on into the evening and the search continued throughout the day on Monday, May 18, with the help of Search and Rescue and the U.S. Water Rescue Dive Team out of Billings. The Natural Bridge area was closed to recreation throughout the duration of the search.

Sheriff Ronneberg says active search and recovery operations have been suspended as of 5 p.m. Monday. Passive search efforts will continue through the coming weeks.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending family notifications.

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