Body confirmed as ranger slaying suspect

SEATTLE, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A body found Monday was that of a U.S. war veteran suspected of killing a park ranger and wounding four other people in Washington state, authorities confirmed.

"All that I know is it has been confirmed as Benjamin Colton Barnes, and he is the suspect that we have for the death of Margaret Anderson," Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Snook told the Los Angeles Times. "But they're still investigating. They still have the park closed, and I'm sure there's lots of loose ends that remain to be taken care of."


The FBI confirmed Barnes' death but provided no further details, the Times said.

Barnes was spotted face down in the snow by an aircraft taking part in the manhunt for the Iraq War veteran. Barnes also was a suspect in another shooting that left four people wounded.

Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, said it was likely Barnes died of exposure since he was wearing only jeans, a T-shirt and one shoe, the newspaper said.

Officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord confirmed Barnes was a private first class with the Army's 2nd Infantry Division in Iraq. He received a general discharge under honorable conditions in November 2009 after being charged with driving under the influence and improperly transporting a privately owned weapon.


A massive aerial and ground search had been under way in mountainous wilderness for Barnes.

Anderson was shot at a roadblock Sunday while she and another ranger attempted to intercept a vehicle that had refused to pull over and sped through a checkpoint, investigators said.

Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff's Department said it appeared the 10:30 a.m. shooting of Anderson, a 34-year-old mother of two daughters and wife of a ranger, was related to a 3 a.m. shooting at a house party in Skyway that left four people wounded -- a man and woman in critical condition and two other men, The Seattle Times reported.

The party victims, all in their 20s, were allegedly shot by a man who returned to the party after having been asked to leave because he got into an argument.

More than 100 National Park service, FBI, police and sheriff's department officers participated in the search, many on snowshoes, some accompanied by tracking dogs.

Anderson's daughters are 2 and 4 years old, ABC News reported.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us