Suicide is not unknown in Yellowstone National Park or other National Parks, for that matter; every summer you’ll hear a report of someone heading to the backcountry to end it all. Such was the case with Kastner, a Marine Corps vet who served in Iraq, who left his rental car at the Hellroaring Trailhead and hiked into the backcountry to the top of Garnet Hill, a prominent summit northwest of Tower Junction. It’s a case where Kastner did not necessarily want his body to be found: it’s well off any established trails, and it’s remote enough where the remains were helicoptered out. It was an accident that the researchers found the body.
The remains were discovered last Wednesday afternoon and retrieved Thursday. They were taken to Bozeman for a forensic autopsy, which confirmed the remains were those of the 25-year-old man. The autopsy revealed that Kastner died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Kastner had been the subject of an ongoing search since May 31; he had been reported as missing by family members. Subsequent searches by ground teams, dog teams, and from the air had failed to turn up any clues to the missing man’s whereabouts.
Kastner had been honorably discharged from the Marine Corps after serving for four years. During his service, he was injured twice by Improvised Explosive Devices while serving in Iraq.
He had recently moved to Oklahoma City from the Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota, area to attend college.