As the search continues near Merritt for missing cowboy Ben Tyner, some area residents are questioning if the 32-year-old’s disappearance is suspicious.
The manager of Nicola Ranch hasn’t been seen since Saturday. On Monday his horse was discovered by local trapper Kim Robinson.
It’s believed Tyner and his horse were likely taken into the backcountry by trailer, but despite pleas for information, no one has come forward.
Local resident Gerry Desilets believes the situation odd, saying it’s “puzzling” that someone might have hauled the horse out, but now won’t speak up.
Asked if he finds it suspicious, he responded “I think it’s getting that way.”
So far police are dismissing those suggestions.
WATCH: Search continues for missing cowboy near Merritt
“We’re certainly doing our investigation from our end and helping with search and rescue but we don’t have any reason to believe that,” said Merritt RCMP Const. Tracey Dunsmore.
As for the status of the search, Dunsmore said, “We’re quite prepared to work in into the weekend.
“We have quite a momentum right now with lots of searchers and other teams are coming in. We have north shore and some teams from the island and lots of teams from the Lower Mainland came up yesterday they’re all spending the weekend. So as long as we have the manpower and the weather cooperates we’ll continue to keep looking.”
Kim Robinson hopes searchers are looking in the correct area.
He did find the horse, and he knows the area very well. In 2008 he apprehended fugitive Allan Schoenboern in the hills above Merritt, after Schoenborn killed his three children.
“I feel bad that a lot of the resources are being wasted in an area that I know nobody was in,” Robinson said.
Tyner’s parents and younger brother have been in Merritt since Tuesday, when they arrived from Wyoming.