On January 26, 2019, around 2:00 pm, Ben Tyner was last seen.
It was not until two days later that he would be reported missing when his horse was located alone by loggers in the area.
What followed was an extensive, week-long search that turned up no trace of the Wyoming Cowboy, who had been working at Nicola Ranch.
Tyner’s family came to Merritt to join the search and on February 13th made an emotional plea to the community for information.
“If you have any information that can lead to us finding him, no matter how insignificant it might seem, we would be so truly grateful,” plead Tyner’s Mom Jennifer. “To say that we are heartbroken is an understatement.”
With emotion ringing through her voice she continued to read from a prepared statement.
(The Tyner family; from left to right Richard, Jennifer and Jack)
“Our hearts are shattered, and our lives have been thrown into turmoil. We feel that we are only shells of the people we were before our son Ben Tyner went missing over two weeks ago,” she said. “To think that I will never again see his smile or hear his infectious laugh. Never see him realize his dreams, never have him wrap his arm around me again, it's unthinkable.”
Just over a month later, on March 19, the RCMP would rule Tyner’s disappearance suspicious.
Now, on the somber anniversary of the last day Tyner was seen, the RCMP has provided a brief update on the case.
“The investigation into the disappearance of Ben Tyner continues, being diligently led by the Southeast District Major Crime Unit. To date several investigational avenues have been explored, however in order to protect the ongoing investigation police are unable to share those findings publicly at this time,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey.
“Based on those findings to date, major crime investigators have reason to believe that criminality was involved and continue to investigate Ben Tyner's disappearance as a possible homicide,” added O’Donaghey.
With the first anniversary of his disappearance upon us, police are once again appealing to the public for tip information. Anyone with any information is urged to call their local RCMP, the Southeast District Major Crime Unit Tip Line at 1-877-987-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt