Ben Tyner, formerly from Wyoming, has been working at the Nicola Ranch in Merritt. (Facebook)

Major crime unit brought in for investigation into missing Merritt cowboy

Ben Tyner, 32, has not been seen since Jan. 26

The RCMP’s Southeast District Major Crime Unit has been called in to help look for a missing Merritt cowboy nearly two weeks after he disappeared.

Ben Tyner was last seen on the afternoon of Jan. 26 at the Nicola Ranch where he has worked since November. His horse was found two days later, riderless and in full tack, on a logging road off Highway 97 near Winnie Flats.

Since then, a wide-ranging search by volunteers, police and rescue crews from all around the province has brought up no sign of the 32-year-old cowboy.

The search for Tyner was suspended Sunday, although police said the investigation “is not over.”

Sgt. Janelle Shoihet says the major crimes unit was called in to ensure there are no “missing links.”

She says there’s a slim chance that Tyner is still alive and he is still considered missing, but she also says it’s time to be realistic about his odds.

“He’s been out in the elements … and my understanding is it has been quite chilly, quite cold up there. If something did happen to him, if he got bucked off the horse or something and he’s been underneath the snow … the chances are slim,” Shoihet says.

Mounties say Merritt residents may see an increase in police in the area as the major crimes unit moves in.

A GofundMe created Friday to aid in the search for Tyner had raised $23,865 by Thursday morning, more than $3,000 over its $20,000 goal.

Tyner’s brother Jack, an American rodeo competitor, took part in the search for his brother and also turned to social media to ask for prayers that his brother will be found. “Thank you everyone for reaching out to myself and my family! It just goes to show how many lives my brother touched. My phone has been overwhelmed and I have been horseback and I simply can’t respond to all of you. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all!!! God Bless” Jack posted to Facebook.

Anyone with information on Tyner’s disappearance is asked to call Merritt RCMP at 50-378-4262 and cite file 2019-433.

READ MORE: Search for missing Merritt cowboy suspended

– with files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

Castlegar mayor releases FCM itinerary

Bruno Tassone delivers promised report on activities at Quebec City municipal conference

West Kootenay afternoon storms spark fires

Lots of thunder and lightning, and little rain, as system moves through region

Rainbow Road

Nakusp cuts ribbon on rainbow crosswalk

Nakusp cops warn of firebug

Call for assistance to stop person before a major fire starts

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read