Body of missing teen recovered from Yellowstone River

Johnathan Hettinger —
Monday, August 20, 2018

A search and rescue boat from the Park County Sheriff's Office is pictured at the U.S. 89 North Fishing Access Site. (Photo courtesy of the Park County Sheriff's Office)

The body of a teenager missing in the Yellowstone River was found Sunday near Springdale.

Fifteen-year-old James Anderson had been missing for more than three weeks, when his body was recovered Sunday after received a tip from a fisherman around noon.

Anderson went missing on July 27 after a drift boat carrying five people hit the pylon on the U.S. Highway 89 North bridge and flipped. Angie Anderson, the boy’s mother, died in the accident, while the three others, including the boy’s father, Jim Anderson, were able to swim to safety.

Jim Anderson is a captain with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

James had been a student at Belgrade High School.

On Sunday, the Yellowstone River was running below 3,000 feet per cubic second for the first time this summer.

Overall, the search involved more than a dozen entities — including helicopters, boats, dog teams, drones and other searchers — and went as far as Columbus, though most of the search focused on the the area between the U.S. Highway 89 North bridge and Springdale.

Park County Sheriff Scott Hamilton and Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin released a joint press release Monday morning. 

“We are thankful to be able to return James to his family,” the release said. “When such an unimaginable tragedy occurs, it reminds us of what really matters, family and friends. We have many thanks to share in the days to come but we are truly blessed to live in a place where people genuinely care about each other, even if strangers. Thank you all for the overwhelming support!”