NewsMontana and Regional News


Body of missing woman recovered from river

Stillwater County Search and Rescue
stillwater county rescue.jpg
Stillwater County Search and Rescue
stillwater county sheriff woman in river.jpg
Posted at 9:40 AM, Jun 09, 2022

The body of Julie Capdeville Freeman was recovered from the Yellowstone River on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, by the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office and Stillwater County Search & Rescue personnel.

The Stillwater River flows into the Yellowstone River just west of Columbus.

Undersheriff/Deputy Coroner Randy Smith said that Freeman was 44 years old and a resident of Laurel.

Freeman was one of five people who fell into the nearby Stillwater River on Sunday, June 5, when their raft capsized.

Two adults and a child were rescued, and a search began for Freeman.

Freeman was not wearing a life jacket at the time, according to Smith.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday, June 9.

(JUNE 6, 2022) The Stillwater County Sheriff's Office says five people were aboard a raft that overturned and wrapped around a bridge pier on the Stillwater River southwest of Columbus on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

It happened at an area known as the Beartooth Drop, a wide ledge spanning nearly the expanse of the Stillwater River below the Swinging Bridge Fishing Access Site.

A woman in her 40s is still missing in the river; search and rescue operations were suspended at nightfall and will resume on Monday.

Undersheriff Randy Smith says the call of the overturned raft came in at 1:11 p.m. on Sunday and rescuers were able to pull two adults and a child to safety from the raft. None of them were injured.

Smith says the woman currently missing in the river was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) at the time of the incident.

Smith says all of the people were from the area; their identities are not being released.

Several agencies are assisting in the search and boaters and recreators are asked to stay off those sections of the rivers.