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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Remains found possibly linked to missing Bellingham snowboarders

Two local men came across belongings that appeared to be connected to one of the missing snowboarders on Saturday, Sept. 29 during a hike. // Photo by Jake Tull

By Brooke Wilson
New developments have surfaced in the missing persons search-and-rescue case involving two Bellingham snowboarders, Jacob Amancio and Drew Lenz.

The snowboarders were reported missing around the Mt. Baker Ski Area on Nov. 12, 2017, according to a statement issued on Thursday, Oct. 4 from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Two local men came across belongings that appeared to be connected to one of the missing snowboarders on Saturday, Sept. 29 during a hike. The items were not within the vicinity of the marked trail in the upper Swift Creek drainage on the mountain, as detailed in a press release from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

After receiving news of the discovery, personnel from Whatcom County Mountain Rescue, Summit to Sound and Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue teams, including the Search and Rescue staff from the Sheriff’s Office performed two trips into the designated area in search of more evidence.

While examining the area, remains and belongings potentially linked to one of the missing persons were uncovered and are now being handled by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner for further inspection.

Expeditions on the mountain conducted by law enforcement are expected to continue over the weekend to locate the remains of the second missing snowboarder, as addressed in the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said the investigative teams plan on “searching as conditions permit,” and also commented on the challenge that scouring terrain in the wilderness poses, given the extensive ground to cover. Elfo addressed the necessity to “bring closure to families” and ensured that all parties involved in the search are putting forth extraordinary efforts.

Families of the missing snowboarders have been informed and are aiding local law enforcement in the identification process and proceeding investigation.

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