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

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

Stop work order at Sooke salmon hatchery devastates volunteers

CRD steps in as some volunteers give up their efforts

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Oak Bay artist co-op highlights autobiographical Snapshots showcase

Snapshots runs from June 4 to 22 at Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave.

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

SOOKE HISTORY: Pemberton Pool namesake remains a mystery

Historian believes it was possibly named after surveyor Joseph Despard Pemberton

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Most Read