Mount Rainier body confirmed as suspected gunman

January 3, 2012 05:14


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SEATTLE - A body found face down in the snow at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state is that of an Iraq war veteran suspected of killing a park ranger, then fleeing into the wilderness, authorities said on Monday.

Park spokeswoman Lee Snook said the body was confirmed to be that of 24-year-old Benjamin Colton Barnes, who was suspected of shooting ranger Margaret Anderson dead on Sunday when she stopped his vehicle at a roadblock.

Snook said Barnes' body had been found lying face down in the snow and partially submerged in the Paradise River above Narada Falls following an exhaustive manhunt by 200 local, state and federal law enforcement agents.

She said the body was discovered wearing only a T-shirt, pants and one tennis shoe and that a gun was found about 46 meters away.

"The conjecture is he died from exposure to the elements," Snook said, adding that temperatures dipped into the 20s Fahrenheit overnight in Mt. Rainier National Park.

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