British Columbia

Major crimes unit joins investigation to find missing rancher near Merritt

Merritt RCMP and Search and Rescue have suspended their search for rancher Ben Tyner, but the Mounties' Major Crimes Unit has still been called in.

Rescue teams stood down after combing backcountry for a week

Ben Tyner, 32, was last seen on Jan. 26 in Nicola, B.C., near Merritt in the province's southern Interior. Searchers suspended their efforts to find him on Sunday, but the B.C. RCMP's Major Crimes Unit has since been called in to investigate his disappearance. (Facebook)

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.

Ben Tyner's horse was found riderless but wearing a saddle near Merritt, B.C., on Jan. 28. (Facebook)

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.

With files from Doug Herbert