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

UPDATE: One dead after crash on Highway 97A near Armstrong

Police have confirmed that one person is dead following an accident on Highway 97A Friday

Multi-vehicle collision slows traffic on Highway 1

Trans-Canada Highway reduced to single lane between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Music program discord attributed to lack of oversight

North-Okanagan-Shuswap schools struggle to retain musical excellence amidst many challenges

School district facing capacity challenges

Rising enrolment, outdated data and classroom changes prompt discussions

Seatbelts on school buses would come with safety, cost concerns

Retrofitting belts would cost approximately $240,000 for 24 buses

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Developer makes an effort to help Okanagan students left homeless after flood

U-Two developer is making an effort to help university students who were left in a lurch

Alleged Okanagan sex offender arrested in P.E.I.

Offences occurred while Ivan Glen Winchester was living in Summerland between 2006 and 2010

GoFundMe reaches halfway mark after death of beloved Central Okanagan yogi

A fundraiser was started for Tessa Hutton’s family

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Most Read