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Foot found in Yellowstone hot spring belonged to Los Angeles man, officials say

A foot found in a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park back in August has been identified as belonging to a 70-year-old Los Angeles man, park officials said Thursday.

The foot belonged to Il Hun Ro, the National Park Service said in a news release. While foul play is not suspected, the circumstances of his death are still unknown due to a "lack of evidence," the agency said. But, the National Park Service added, the investigation into the death has "concluded." 

The situation unfolded on Aug. 16, when a park employee spotted part of a foot in a shoe floating in the Abyss Pool in the West Thumb Geyser Basin in the southern part of the park.

Officials later said that the foot was believed to belong to a man who was involved in an "unwitnessed incident" at the Abyss Pool on the morning of July 31.

The Abyss Pool is 53 feet deep and about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Yellowstone. It is one of the deepest hot springs in the park.  

Yellowstone National Park
The West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. July 20, 2017 National Park Service/Jacob W. Frank/Flickr

According to Yellowstone, stepping off the heightened boardwalks around the geyser basins is extremely dangerous. 

"Boiling water surges just under the thin crust of most geyser basins, and many people have been severely burned when they have broken through the fragile surface," the park said on its website. "Some people have died."

According to the National Park Service, 22 people have died from burns after falling into hot springs since Yellowstone was established in 1872, although it is not clear if that tally includes this most recent death.

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