Chinook’s man’s death was accidental drowning

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 19:12:28-04

(GREAT FALLS) The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office says that Noah Michael Hofeldt, whose body was recovered from the river in Chinook several days ago, died due to accidental drowning.

Hofeldt’s body was taken by Blaine County Sheriff’s Deputies to the Montana State Lab for autopsy on June 19. 

The results of the autopsy were determined to be consistent with drowning.  The cause of Noah’s death was determined to be asphyxia due to drowning, and the manner of his death was determined to have been accidental. 

In a press release, Blaine County Undersheriff Frank Jay Billmayer said that his office offers its deepest condolences to the Hofeldt family and wants to thank all of the volunteers who helped return Noah to his family. 

Billmayer also noted that waterways are very dangerous right now due to the significant mountain run off, and cautions everyone to be careful when recreating on or around the waterways as there have been several recent drowning deaths across Montana.

(JUNE 17, 2018) Family, friends, and volunteers are searching for 35-year-old Noah Hofeldt of Chinook who hasn’t been seen since Monday, June 11.

Family members said they reported him missing on Thursday, June 14 and that he was last seen near the water plant along the Milk River in Chinook. Chinook deputies used drones and jet skis to look for Noah in the river, according to the family.

They said it is very unlike him to go without contacting someone for this long. Carol Hofeldt, Noah’s mother, said this is the longest he’s been gone without anyone seeing him.

"He usually walks the river to pick wild asparagus and he usually will go swimming in the river," Carol Hofeldt said. "One of the officers saw his bike down here at the park at the water plant and then some of his friends came down that night when we found out and they found his shoes and his shirt down here on the bank.”

Noah’s friend, Monty Brockie, is helping search for Noah. He and others volunteered to float the river to see if they could notice anything.

He said Noah would do anything and everything for people; “Noah was everybody’s friend. He had not an enemy in this world. He was very outgoing, good person. If you asked anybody about him, they would tell you the same thing I’m telling you right now. He was just an awesome human being, help you out, do anything for you,” said Brockie.

We have tried to contact the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office for more information.

We will keep you updated.

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