4th Body Found in Avalanche; Search for Victims Called Off

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Associated Press

Searchers using radar and metal detectors Friday to scan the site of an avalanche found the body of a fourth man killed when tons of snow thundered down a mountainside.

Summit County Undersheriff Gary Lindstrom said the body of Alex Cates, 17, of Locust Valley, N.Y., was found on a part of the mountain known as Peak 7 that already had been searched.

Witnesses Pinpoint Site

Lindstrom said witnesses to the avalanche were taken back up the mountain and pointed out where they saw four skiers disappear Wednesday in a cloud of snow. The body was found in an area posted with signs warning of avalanche danger.


“We’re all through searching,” Lindstrom said. “That’s all the missing skiers as far as we know.”

About 100 searchers on Friday probed a 400-by-500-yard area of the Breckenridge Ski Area, which is about 65 miles west of Denver.

The slide piled snow 40 feet deep on the slopes of the 11,600-foot peak. The first body was found hours after the avalanche, and two more bodies were found Thursday in the hard-packed snow.

“We knew that we were going to find people that weren’t alive,” volunteer Jaya Zar of Glenwood Springs said. “But finding those people and knowing their families will be in peace, that is worth it.”

The other victims were identified as Martin Donnellan, 21, of Peekskill, N.Y., and New Zealanders Paul Way, 23, of Auckland, and Nick Casey, 23, of Cambridge. The three had been skiing together, authorities said.

Stepbrother Escapes

Sheriff Delbert Ewoldt said Cates had been skiing with his stepbrother, George Cates, who managed to escape.