Body of teen recovered from Yellowstone River after 3 weeks of searching

Posted at 9:13 AM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 11:13:43-04

(BOZEMAN) The body of James Anderson was recovered from the Yellowstone River on Sunday.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jim Anderson and his family were involved in a boating accident the evening of July 27 on the Yellowstone River in Park County. Jim’s wife Angie passed away on the scene. Jim and his daughter were able to make it to shore safely, but James’ body was not found until Sunday.

A press release from the Park County Sheriff’s Office on Monday states:

Yesterday, on August 19, 2018 at around noon, we received a tip from a fisherman. Members of the Park and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Offices immediately responded to the scene and recovered the body of James Anderson from the Yellowstone River near Springdale.

We are thankful to be able to return James to his family. 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!

Friends of the Anderson family have created a GoFundMe account; click here if you would like to help.

(AUGUST 8, 2018) Law enforcement agencies and volunteers are focusing their search for 15-year-old James Anderson about 3 miles downstream from the site where the boat he was traveling in with family and a friend capsized. His mother, Angie Anderson, died at the location of the accident.

Anderson is the son of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jim Anderson. The father survived the June 27th accident, along with his 18-year-old daughter and a friend of James.

“When that kind of tragedy meets head-on with the relationships that you have with people that you know personally the emotional factor of it does go up,” says Park County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brad Bichler.

Park County Sheriff’s office is taking the lead in the recovery effort. Sgt. Brad Bichler says 18 agencies have lent a hand plus many volunteers. Much of the river access has been granted by private landowners.

Included in the search effort is Chapter, a collie mix with Western Montana Search Dogs. Her handler, Colette Daigle-Berg, says Chapter has indicated multiple times that the scent of Anderson is present. Daigle-Berg says Chapter can pick up the scent of a body trapped beneath the water because gases float to the surface. She says even though the dog’s sense are extremely heightened it’s difficult to locate the missing because scents can linger days after someone has passed an area.

“This is hugely challenging,” says Daigle-Berg. “River searches are probably the most challenging of everything we do.”

Sgt. Bichler says despite there being a connection to the law enforcement community the same amount of dedication goes into every recovery to help a family get closure.

“Everyone is very, very driven to find James and bring him home,” said Sgt. Bichler.