Body of missing Air Force cadet found in Rocky Mountain National Park
A body believed to be that of a missing 20-year-old Air Force Academy Cadet was recovered Friday at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Micah Tice was reported missing in the Longs Peak area on Nov. 26 and search efforts got underway the next day. On Thursday, private searchers with the family discovered items belonging to Tice in the Boulder Brook drainage area. When the park’s search and rescue team scouted the area the following morning, they discovered the remains.
Tice was last seen by two other hikers the morning of Nov. 24 as he was summiting Longs Peak in a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack. The mountain experienced a blizzard that day.
The search and rescue team previously focused its efforts in the Boulder Brook area, but because of deep snow, nothing was recovered. Other search efforts included the use of a Colorado Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, but were curtailed due to high winds.
The search covered approximately 10 square miles, including Longs Peak Trail, the East Longs Peak Trail, the Battle Mountain area, Granite Pass, Jim’s Grove, the Boulder Field, Mount Lady Washington, Chasm Lake, Peacock Pool, the Boulder Brook drainage, the Storm Pass Trail, and the Wind River drainage.
Efforts to find Tice were suspended a few times due to winter conditions, such as chest deep snow, thick snow covered forests and vast areas of dead and down trees, especially in drainages away from snow packed trails. Not only did the conditions make it difficult for search efforts, they may have impacted what clues were available to officials.
Rocky Mountain National Park officials worked with the U.S. Air Force Academy during the entirety of the search and rescue efforts.
The remains will be transferred to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.
Tice was one of three hikers reported missing on Longs Peak this winter. Park officials discovered the remains of Ryan Albert of New Jersey in May, but James Pruitt, 70, of Etowah, Tennessee, who was reported missing in February, has not been found.