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Body Found In Big Hole River Believed To Be That Of Missing Person Michael Fontz

Press Release Beaverhead County Sheriff Office:

On 3/28/2023 1105 hours, The Beaverhead County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Fish and Game. They were floating the Big Hole River near Melrose and found a body .32 miles south of the Salmon Fly Campground.

This is believed to be the body of Michael Fontz. Fontz was reported missing on December 12, 2022. On December 14, 2022 Fontz’s vehicle was found at the Maiden Rock Campground just North of Melrose. Fontz was not located with his vehicle. Beaverhead Search and Rescue was activated and they began a search for Fontz. It was believed that Fontz went into the river. Beaverhead County Search and Rescue had help from Ruby Valley Search and Rescue’s swift water rescue team and ground searchers from the Silver Bow Search and Rescue. This search carried on for several days with no luck. With the cold temperatures and dangerous ice conditions it was decided to suspend the search and periodically fly the area with drones.

At 1138 hours the Beaverhead County Sheriff’s Office, Dillon Police Department and several Fish and Game Wardens were able to retrieve the body from the river. The body was then transported to the crime lab in Missoula for examination. I would like to thanks everyone involved with the search and recovery so that closer can be brought to the family and friends.

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