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

City of Duncan considers tougher laws for drug houses

New bylaw gets first three readings by council

Transport truck flips on its side on TCH in Duncan

Workers salvaged milk and ice cream

Somebody ‘saw’ something: North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP seek tool owner

The item was recovered from the area of York Road and Dingwall Street in Duncan.

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

The world’s Indigenous speakers gather in B.C.’s capital to revitalize languages

Organizers estimate about 1,000 delegates from 20 countries will be at the conference

Join talks on international treaty: B.C. First Nations mark ‘historic moment’

Representatives of the Ktunaxa, Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations participated

Companies need clearer rules on workplace relationships, study suggests

One-third of Canadians have been in love at work, and half say no policy on the matter exists

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Most Read