Yellowstone National Park Investigating Two Deaths - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Yellowstone National Park Investigating Two Deaths

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GARDINER -

It is a tragic time in Yellowstone National Park. Park officials are investigating the deaths of two people this week.

Park search and rescue crews found 23-year-old Joseph Austin Parker's body this morning below the summit of Electric Peak. His friends reported him missing on Tuesday after he didn't return from his hike.

Parker was originally from Valdosta, Georgia, but was most recently working at K-Bar's Pizza in Gardiner.

"He wanted a change of pace and get out as he called it a proper job got out of his suit and came out here," said Chuck Tanner, one of the owners of K-Bar's.

He says even though he's only known Parker for a little more than a month, losing a friend is still hard.

"At my age and growing up in California, I lost a lot of friends over the years. This one hit me a lot harder he was real young," said Tanner.

Tanner said parker wasn't a stranger to anyone.

"He just had I called the gift of gab. He could talk to anyone and pick up a conversation so it was always kind of a blessing to have him around," said Tanner.

Parker was hiking alone when he went missing.

Park officials say they encourage people to stay in groups.

"Here in Yellowstone, we encourage people to hike in groups of three or more," said Yellowstone Spokesman Al Nash. "That can ensure a greater number of safety for you and the other members of your party."

Tanner said he want's people to remember the good things about parker.

Parker was not the only person who lost his life in the park this week

A 73-year-old man from southwest Montana died Wednesday in Yellowstone National Park after losing his footing while fishing in the Nez Perce picnic area. These are the first deaths reported in the park this year.

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