A cowboy who went missing in Merritt 18 days ago is being remembered by his family as selfless, hard working and talented.
In a news conference out of the local RCMP detachment Wednesday, the family of 32-year-old Ben Tyner issued another plea for anyone with information on his disappearance to come forward.
“To say that we are heartbroken is an understatement. Our hearts are shattered and our lives have been thrown into turmoil,” said Tyner’s mother, Jennifer.
Tyner, a manager at the Nicola Ranch, was last seen on Jan. 26. His horse was found near a logging road, riderless and in full tack, two days later. Police confirmed Wednesday that it’s believed a truck and trailer may have transported him to the Swakum Mountain or nearby service roads, but so far a driver has not come forward.
Upwards of a dozen different search and rescue groups have scoured the nearby mountains and backcountry. His family came to Merritt, from their hometown of Laramie, Wyo., to help as well. But after nearly a week of no sign of him, and increasingly poor weather, the search was suspended. The RCMP’s major crime unit was also brought in to ensure there are no missing links.
Jennifer, Tyner’s dad Richard and brother Jack will be travelling back to Wyoming this week. RCMP have also launched a dedicated tip line for anyone with information at 1-877-987-8477.
Jack said in a Facebook post that “God couldn’t have a better cowboy to watch his herd.”
He said his brother loved being a cowboy who always looked ahead to the next adventure. He recounted one of the last days he got to ride with his him in their hometown.
Jack said he was riding a “hard headed” young sorrel mare that was being uncooperative.
“My patience had run a little thin so I ‘encouraged’ her pretty hard with my right spur as I heard Ben say, ‘She looks pretty cold backed,’” he recalled. “I’ve never been bucked off so hard and so fast in my life.”
While Jack rolled away, unscathed, he said he would never forget the sound of his brother’s laughter.
“You were such a huge inspiration in my life, and you are forever in my heart. I know you will protect, guide, and watch over us all. It was a privilege to ride with you, big brother.”
– with files from The Canadian Press