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Man who killed park ranger found dead on Mount Rainier
According to news reports, authorities have confirmed that the man they believe shot and killed a park ranger Sunday morning was found dead in deep snow at Mount Rainier National Park.
The Seattle Times reports on its website that authorities said the body of Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran, was found about 10:20 a.m. Monday.
A manhunt began Sunday for a killer who shot ranger Margaret Anderson.
Anderson, a 34-year-old mother of two, blocked a road with her vehicle after a car had failed to stop Sunday at a required chain checkpoint, park officials reported. A man got out of the car and fired a shotgun, fatally wounding Anderson, then fled on foot into the forest.
Park rangers and law enforcement officers from various agencies responded, including a Pierce County SWAT team, but park officials said the assailant continued to fire a rifle at officers who were rendering aid to Anderson.
Law enforcement officers closed the park road, evacuated park visitors from Longmire, and locked down Paradise, with all visitors in the area taking refuge in the Jackson Visitor Center. There were 125 park visitors and 17 park staff in the visitor center, although news reports Monday morning said the visitors had been escorted out of the park.
The park remained closed Monday, as more than 100 law enforcement officers continued their search for the killer. Besides crews on the ground, aircraft with infrared scanners were assisting in the search.
Anderson had been a ranger at Mount Rainier for four years. Her husband is also a park ranger at Mount Rainier, and they have two young children.