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

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

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

The disappearance of a missing cowboy in Merritt in January is now being considered suspicious.

Circumstances surrounding Ben Tyner’s disappearance may have been criminal, RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said in a news release Tuesday.

Tyner was reported missing on Jan. 28 when his riderless horse was found on a logging road off Highway 97 near Winnie Flats in Merritt. Originally from Wyoming, Tyner was a manager at Nicola Ranch.

READ MORE: Hunt on for missing Merritt cowboy after riderless horse found

What followed were days of first responders, search and rescue crews and volunteers combing the nearby mountains and backcountry on foot, in vehicles, snowmobiles and by air. Search efforts were hampered by below-freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, forcing them to stand down at times.

Neither Tyner nor any other evidence was found, according to details released by police at the time.

READ MORE: ‘He loved being a cowboy’: Family of missing man to leave Merritt without answers

The Southeast District Major Crime Unit was later called in to make sure nothing was missed.

“Sometimes at the onset of an investigation, there are pieces that don’t quite fit, and while there is nothing definite, they warrant further investigation,” Shoihet said.

RCMP launched a dedicated tip line in February for anyone with information: 1-877-987-8477.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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