What happened to Ben Tyner? Reward offered in B.C. missing cowboy case
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)
VANCOUVER -- The whereabouts of a man who went missing from a B.C. ranch in 2019 are still unknown two years later.
Ben Tyner, who was 32 at the time, left a ranch near Merritt on Jan. 26 of that year.
The Wyoming man was seen riding his horse east from the Nicola Ranch, which he'd been managing for months. He was reported missing two days later, when his saddled horse was found roaming the countryside.
Two years after Tyner rode off, his family is still wondering what happened.
It's believed the man may have set off to the nearby foothills of the Nicola Valley, searching for cattle. While his absence was not initially thought to be suspicious, major crime detectives were brought in two months later.
Mounties said at the time that the circumstances suggested an element of criminality.
But the investigation remains open two years later.
In a news release Tuesday, the RCMP said "numerous investigational avenues have been explored," but that details will not be shared with the public.
However, it is believed the case is a homicide.
On the anniversary of Tyner's disappearance, his parents issued a public plea for information. Their plea came in the form of a video, which was recorded and passed on with help from the FBI.
The Tyners live in the U.S. and could not come to B.C. due to COVID-19 border restrictions.
Sitting in what appeared to be their living room, Jennifer and Richard Tyner spoke to those who may know more.
"The last two years have been filled with horrendous heartache, continued hope and many, many prayers," Richard read.
His parents, sitting next to his brother, Jack, said their son's friends have stayed in touch, and there are constant reminders of him around their farm.
"Ben was not just a cowboy, he was a voracious reader. He loved to experience new places and cultures," his father said.
Tyner's parents described him as a team player and a gentle giant.
"To have to live with Ben's loss is the most painful, excruciating experience ever. The loss we feel is immeasurable."
The family said they're praying that someone with more information will come forward, and that they're grateful for residents of the area who are still searching for signs of Tyner.
They announced a $15,000 reward for information that leads to the location of their son, and the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.
Anyone with more information is asked to call the RCMP at 1-877-987-8477, or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.