Colorado skier’s body was found far from search area
NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia ” The body of a college student from Colorado who vanished on a ski outing to Mount Seymour was recovered on the opposite side of the peak from where the search initially was focused, officials say.
The body of Jared Stanley, 25, who was studying snow and avalanche behavior at the University of British Columbia, was spotted from a search helicopter Friday in Shone Creek on the east side of the 4,125-foot mountain, close to the Mount Seymour Provincial Park boundary.
Stanley’s relatives met with a coroner and other investigators Saturday. The cause of death remained under investigation.
Search and rescue officials, some peeved by a six-day delay between the discovery of Stanley’s abandoned car and notification that he was missing, initially believed he might have been west of the peak in an area known as Suicide Gully and did not dispatch ground crews because of deep and unstable snow.
Ron Royston, a North Shore Search and Rescue manager, said a headlamp was discovered the body, possibly an indication that Stanley was trying to hike out of the area after dark and fell into the creek.
“It’s our assessment,’ Royston said, “(that) he died on the day he went out.”
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Tom Seaman said initial observations indicate Stanley may have been knocked unconscious by the fall and died of exposure.
It was unclear whether he walked or skied into the area because he was wearing ski boots but no skis have been found. Rushing water in the creek tore off some of Stanley’s clothing and swept away much of his gear, Seaman said.
Earlier, Royston said the Mounties should have notified search officials after they learned on Jan. 13, three days after Stanley was last seen alive, that his Stanley’s car had been abandoned at a parking lot near the mountain. Instead, police merely had the car towed.
“In that situation, we only had an abandoned vehicle,” Seaman said.
“If we notified them for every abandoned vehicle, they would be run off their feet,” he said. “It’s a tough call to make.
The search began Wednesday in weather ranging from blizzard-like, subfreezing conditions to torrential rain after one of Stanley’s friends called Vancouver police and filed a missing person’s report.
Royston said the RCMP should have a standardized policy for alerting rescue crews such situations.
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