'Numerous resources' deployed as RCMP resume search for missing Merritt cowboy
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:18PM PDT
Ben Tyner was last seen Saturday, but was not reported missing until his horse was found in full gear without a rider two days later. (Facebook)
The search is back on for Ben Tyner, a cowboy who went missing near a Merritt-area ranch nearly three months ago.
Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the RCMP said in a news release Wednesday that "numerous resources" were being used to find Tyner now that the snow has melted.
“We ended the search due to unfavourable weather conditions after a week in January, so they are going back to the area in hopes we will locate Ben," she said.
The 32-year-old Wyoming man was last seen on Jan. 26, riding his horse east from the Nicola Ranch, which he had managed since November 2018. He was reported missing two days later, when his saddled horse was found roaming the countryside rider-less.
It’s believed Tyner may have set off into the nearby foothills of the Nicola Valley in search of cattle.
Tyner’s disappearance was not initially deemed suspicious, but major crime detectives were brought in to assist to the investigation in mid-March.
"Now having had the opportunity to review all the pieces, we believe that the circumstances surrounding Mr. Tyner's disappearance may involve criminality," Shoihet said in a March 19 update.
She confirmed Wednesday that officers from the Merritt RCMP will join forces with the Southeast District Major Crimes Unit, police dog services, air assets and the underwater recovery team in the renewed search.
Tyner’s family came to Merritt in February to assist with the search before returning home to Wyoming.
His mother, Jennifer, told reporters at a news conference that month her family is shattered and heartbroken.
“To think that I will never again see his smile, or hear his infectious laugh, never see him realize his dreams, never have him wrap his arms around me again, is unthinkable,” she said.
With files from the Canadian Press