Image credit: @bbrownlee92 on Instagram
Ben Brownlee, a former Jesuit cross country runner,
was pronounced dead Wednesday after being reported missing from a solo hike
near Lake City, Colorado.
Brownlee, 26, was reported missing on Sunday after a planned hike in the San Juan Mountains. The Denver Post reported that the Hinsdale County Sheriff Department began searching for Brownlee began Monday morning, when searchers found Brownlee’s car at the trailhead of Redcloud and Sunshine peaks. Helicopters and crews on the ground searched the area where Brownlee told friends he would be hiking. An experienced hiker, he was last seen by a fellow hiker Saturday morning east of Redcloud Peak, a news release said. His general itinerary was to hike 13,000-foot peaks near the Lake City area.
The search continued Tuesday on foot and by air, with more than a dozen search and rescue personnel along with Brownlee’s family and friends. That afternoon around 5 p.m., friends searching for Brownlee by private helicopter (Brownlee’s family chartered a private helicopter as part of the search) discovered a body 100 feet or so below a steep ridge near Cooper Creek Peak.
According to the Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management, Brownlee’s body was recovered by helicopter on Wednesday around 2 p.m. The coroner pronounced death at the staging area.