WASHINGTON – Authorities have confirmed that a body found on the slopes of the Mount Rainier National Park in the US state of Washington is that of an Iraq War veteran suspected in the slaying of a park ranger.
A plane searching the remote wilderness for Benjamin Colton Barnes, 24, yesterday discovered his body lying face down on the mountain hours from where authorities could get to him. The cause of death was not immediately made public.
Mr Barnes is believed to have fled to the remote park to hide after an earlier shooting at a New Year’s Eve house party near Seattle that wounded four, two critically. Authorities suspect he shot ranger Margaret Anderson later on New Year’s Day.
SWAT teams more used to urban standoffs trekked deep into the backcountry, unfamiliar territory for them.
”We have SWAT team members with snowshoes on the side of a mountain,” Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. ”This has never happened before.”
Immediately after the shooting, police cleared out the park of visitors and mounted a manhunt.
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