Massive search underway in Merritt area for missing cowboy - InfoNews

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Massive search underway in Merritt area for missing cowboy

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
January 29, 2019 - 3:21 PM

MERRITT — Merritt RCMP along with volunteers from over half a dozen search and rescue groups are searching for a cowboy after a horse with full gear was found without its rider yesterday.

Police were advised of the horse around 12:30 p.m. yesterday, Jan. 28, according to an RCMP media release. The horse had been located by loggers in the area and advised local ranchers who were able to identify the owner as a 32-year-old man who worked for a local ranch and was on his days off.

Const. Tracy Dunsmore with Merritt RCMP said the family has asked them not to release his name or photo for privacy reasons and the RCMP is respecting that.

Information police received suggested the man was last seen on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. but it is unknown when he rode off into the backcountry.

The active logging in the area and the herds of wild horses has hindered search efforts in finding the track for the rider, police say. Search and rescue groups are still unaware of the missing man’s destination.

Nicola Valley Search and Rescue is being assisted by neighbouring search and rescue groups in Kamloops, Shuswap, Penticton, Princeton, Logan Lake, Central Okanagan, Chilliwack and Surrey. Around 40 members were on site last night with police dog services, snowmobiles, and RCMP air support, police say. Search and rescue groups have also accepted help from numerous ranchers on horseback.

Police are advising the public not to conduct separate lone searching as it may interfere in search and rescue efforts but if anyone saw a man riding in the Swakum Ridge area of Merritt this past weekend they are asked to contact the Merritt RCMP detachment.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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