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(60,364 posts)
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 07:56 AM Jan 2012

Body of suspect found on Mount Rainier

Pierce County Sheriff's Dept. AP Photo
In this undated photo provided by the Pierce County Sheriff's Dept., Benjamin Colton Barnes, is shown. Officials said Barnes, the suspected killer of ranger Margaret Anderson, was found dead in Paradise Creek at Mount Rainier on Monday.

Body of suspect found on Mount Rainier
Published: 01/02/12 9:55 pm | Updated: 01/02/12 10:11 pm

A man suspected of shooting a ranger to death was found dead Monday in Mount Rainier National Park, likely defeated by the mountain his victim worked to protect.

A day after 34-year-old ranger Margaret Anderson was shot by a driver who ran through a safety checkpoint, the suspect’s body was found partially submerged in Paradise Creek about a mile from the scene, authorities said.

Benjamin Colton Barnes, 24, appeared to have died of exposure to winter conditions, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. The medical examiner was on hand to examine and remove the body and will make the final determination of cause of death. No determination had been made as of Monday night.


Barnes served two years, seven months in the Army before receiving a less than honorable discharge in November 2009, said Maj. Chris Ophardt, an Army spokesman.

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(7,998 posts)
1. I've been wondering how he died
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 08:00 AM
Jan 2012

Was it hypothermia or did he get shot in the gunfire he initiated when killing the ranger and bleed out? Will we ever know?


(28,935 posts)
4. an article i read yesterday
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 08:21 AM
Jan 2012

stated there were no visible wounds. i think we will know for sure eventually. if he was shot it's not as if they would want to hide that fact.


(42,913 posts)
7. Something I read yesterday ...
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 10:22 AM
Jan 2012

said the ranger's pistol was still in the holster. Her job was more law enforcement
related rather than as a guide so she was authorized to carry a weapon.


(510 posts)
8. Hypothermia, according to a Portland news station
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 10:49 AM
Jan 2012

The suspected shooter was found face down, in deep snow, near a stream he'd just crossed.
He was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and was missing one of his tennis shoes.


Wet cotton clothing plus near freezing temperatures is what killed him. Variations on this theme kill hikers in the Cascades every year.




(7,998 posts)
10. I've climbed Rainier twice but not in the winter
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 10:41 PM
Jan 2012

So I understand that conditions can be quite challenging. Still I'm surprised that he expired so quickly if he was trained in "survival techniques". But given the gravity of the situation he was obviously deeply stressed at the time.

I think standing on the summit of Rainier (Columbia Crest) for about 5 min. in August of 2009 was the coldest I've ever been in my life. We had just completed a night climb up the standard route and had made the summit for sunrise. It was pretty awesome. The full moon setting in the west - the sun rising in the east and smoke from the then forest fires creeping around us with the clouds down below.

I'm deeply saddened to hear of the Rangers passing. I wonder if she was one of the many I talked to as I signed in and out for my summit climb.


(41,694 posts)
2. Evidently learning about surviving winter conditions wasn't in his army training.
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 08:01 AM
Jan 2012

I'd say Mother Nature didn't take kindly to someone who killed one of her stewards.


(36,988 posts)
3. I think his 'less than honorable discharge' will provide clues
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 08:12 AM
Jan 2012

and why the army didn't follow up on this guy with an alert to authorities.

Citizen Worker

(1,785 posts)
5. Hmmm, makes me wonder if Barnes wasn't one of this unfortunate souls to be classified by the
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 08:47 AM
Jan 2012

military as having a pre-existing personality disorder and discharged. Thus, absolving the military of any responsibility to treat his condition? Just asking.


(8,694 posts)
9. heartbreaking tragedy
Tue Jan 3, 2012, 10:51 AM
Jan 2012

If he served 2 years and 7 months, discharged in Nov 2009, and was 24, that mean he entered the Army right out of high school, and sent to Iraq.
His father was a Marine.
He froze to death in an icy creek, chased by hounds. But I know what killed him (and Margaret Anderson)....the cursed war.

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