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

Annual Father’s Day Powwow hosts dozens of dancers from across western Canada

A full weekend of dance, good food and drumming greeted attendees

Dreams come to life in Spirit Awakens at the Station House this month

This month the Station House invites patrons to an exhibit involving the spirit

Blue Fins making final preparations for respective provincial championships

“This was the last competition for any ‘Fins not yet qualified for provincials,” Webb said.

Lakecity youth performers acquitted themselves well at Provincial Festival

The Cariboo Festival Society was proud to see two of its attendees recognized for their work

PHOTOS: Families take to the street at annual Cariboo GM Soapbox Derby

A record number of participants showed up for this event organized by Cariboo GM and the Hooligans

10 facts about Father’s Day

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

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

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

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

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

Most Read