British Columbia

RCMP resumes search for missing cowboy months after he disappeared

Ben Tyner, 32, has been missing since late January after he was last seen leaving the ranch he worked at near Merritt, B.C., on horseback.

Ben Tyner was last seen in January at the ranch he worked at near Merritt, B.C.

Ben Tyner is shown in an RCMP handout photo. Mounties have resumed their search for the cowboy, who went missing in January and whose disappearance is being treated as suspicious by police. (RCMP via the Canadian Press)

The RCMP has resumed its search for a missing rancher who vanished in the B.C. Interior nearly four months ago.

Ben Tyner, 32, was last seen on Jan. 26 as he rode out on horseback near Merritt, possibly to search for cattle in surrounding hills. He was reported missing after someone found his horse, riderless but still wearing its saddle, two days later on a logging road off Highway 97 northwest of the city.

An extensive search that included RCMP and volunteers on foot and horseback, and in helicopters, vehicles and snowmobiles, found no trace of Tyner. Efforts were suspended in early February due to poor weather.

RCMP said they are back searching an area near Merritt this week with police dogs as well as air support.

Tyner is originally from Wyoming and worked at a cattle ranch in nearby Nicola. His father, mother and brother have made public pleas asking anyone with information about his disappearance to come forward.

"He was just big and strong and honest as they come, just a pure soul," said brother Jack Tyner, standing alongside his parents at a press conference in Merritt on Feb. 13.  

Ben Tyner's parents, Richard and Jennifer Tyner, along with their son, Jack, have asked anyone with information about Ben's disappearance to come forward. (CBC)

"He wasn't the kind of guy that would get into trouble or cause any trouble. He would help anybody for whatever they needed. That was the kind of guy my brother was."

Last month, Sgt. JanelleShoihet said members of the Southeast District Major Crime Unit had reviewed evidence collected since Tyner went missing and determined the case may involve criminal activity.

Ben Tyner, who is originally from Wyoming, worked at a cattle ranch in Nicola, B.C., not far from Merritt. (Facebook)

With files from Brady Strachan

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