Major crimes unit joins investigation to find missing rancher near Merritt
Rescue teams stood down after combing backcountry for a week
Days after search and rescue crews suspended their hunt for a missing rancher near Merritt in B.C.'s southern Interior, the RCMP's Major Crimes Unit has been called in to investigate the disappearance.
Ben Tyner, 32, was reported missing after loggers found his riderless horse, still wearing its saddle, just north of Merritt on Jan. 28.
Local RCMP and a dozen search teams combed the snowy backcountry about 80 kilometres south of Kamloops for a week amid temperatures as low as –20 C, but suspended the effort on Sunday because of the extreme weather.
On Wednesday, the B.C. RCMP announced its Major Crimes Unit had been dispatched. A statement said there's no evidence to suggest foul play, but that the force wanted to cover all its bases.
Tyner, who's from Wyoming, works at a cattle ranch in nearby Nicola, B.C., and was last seen there on Jan. 26.
Anyone with information on Tyner's whereabouts is asked to contact Merritt RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
Crews were out today in the hills above <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MerrittBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MerrittBC</a> as temps hit -24C without windchill. We are sorry to report Day 7 offered no new leads <a href="https://t.co/QJ0VSkPVLD">pic.twitter.com/QJ0VSkPVLD</a>—@okrescue
With files from Doug Herbert