The disappearance of a Merritt rancher in January has now been deemed suspicious.
Lower Mainland District RCMP media relations Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said Tuesday early on investigators from the Southeast District Major Crime Unit were called to support the Merritt RCMP’s investigation.
“These investigators can now confirm that Ben Tyner’s disappearance is being investigated as suspicious,” Shoihet said.
Tyner was reported missing on Monday, January 28 when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road off Highway 97 near Winnie Flats.
He was not located despite RCMP, Search and Rescue, Air Services, Police Dog Services, and Volunteers combing the area, on foot, in vehicles, on snowmobiles, horseback, helicopters and utility vehicles.
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.
Now having had the opportunity to review all the pieces, we believe that the circumstances surrounding Mr. Tyner’s disappearance may involve criminality.
RCMP ask anyone with information to contact them or Crime Stoppers.