Body of missing ski instructor found buried in 5 feet of snow in avalanche area

The body of a Northern California ski instructor, who was missing for more than a month, was found Monday buried under five feet of snow in an area prone to avalanches, officials said.

Carson May, 23, was a ski instructor at the Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden and went missing Jan. 14, according to the ski resort. Immediately after his disappearance, more than 400 volunteers and law enforcement personnel began searching for May. The rescue effort was suspended after five days. 

Then on Monday, dog teams from the El Dorado County Search and Rescue and Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue teams were training at the resort when they found May’s body, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

The search dogs were taken to an area where May’s cellphone signal last pinged in January, authorities said. The area was dug up and May’s body was found about 11 a.m.

His body was found out of bounds of the ski area and about a quarter of a mile from the avalanche-prone area near the initial search site.

“Our condolences to the May family and our thanks go to all of the dozens of searchers who continued to search for Carson,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Resort officials said the recovery of May’s body brings closure for his family and their staff. May worked for three seasons as a Mountain Sports Learning Center ski school instructor.

“Carson was an esteemed member of the Sugar Bowl team and a friend to many at the resort,” the resort said in a statement. “The community’s effort to find Carson has been overwhelming. Our thoughts and prayers are with the May family.”

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