Search and Rescue Teams Recover Body of Missing Skier in Emery County
Jan 19, 2019, 9:06 AM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 4:08 pm
EMERY COUNTY, Utah – The body of a missing skier who officials said had possibly been caught in an avalanche Friday has been recovered.
An official with the search and rescue team confirmed to KSL’s Sam Penrod the skier is Michael Besendorfer, 26, from Nephi.
Two men were skiing late in the afternoon Friday in a side canyon north of Electric Lake in Emery County. One of the men failed to complete a run. The other skier hiked up to look for him and found an avalanche.
After a quick search of the surface, he went for help.
Searchers arrived on the scene around 8:00 p.m. A forecaster from the Utah Avalanche Center arrived to assess avalanche danger.
Due to darkness and inability to access stability of the area, ground search was limited.
The Utah DPS helicopter conducted a search from the air with spotlights.
Around midnight, a decision was made to regroup the following morning, and the search resumed Saturday morning. His body was recovered Saturday afternoon.
Utah Avalanche Center monitored conditions as searchers looked by air, on snowmobiles, timber sleds, snow cats, skis and snowshoes.
A search dog and handler were flown in, and teams from Alta Ski Resort and Wasatch Back Country Rescue responded to offer their expertise.
Besendorfer’s body was located around noon after the search dog, Lucy, indicated on an area.
Wasatch Back Country Rescuers positively located the body based on Lucy’s indication, and recovery efforts began. Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk extends a huge thanks to all agencies involved in this search.