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Search teams find body of skier missing near Lake Tahoe

Snow blankets trees and chairs on a ski lift
Fresh snow surrounds a ski lift at Northstar California Resort in Truckee on Dec. 13.
(Shannon Buhler / Northstar California Resort)

Search teams have found the body of a skier who went missing north of Lake Tahoe on Christmas Day.

Volunteers with the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team and Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue found the body of 43-year-old Rory Angelotta at 10:42 a.m. Saturday in an area north of the Northstar California Resort, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

“The Angelotta family is deeply touched by the overwhelming outpouring of prayers and support during this extremely difficult time and personally wants to thank everyone that accompanied in the search and assisted them during these last two weeks,” the family said in a statement.

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Angelotta was last seen Dec. 25 heading up a ski lift at the resort, according to officials. Heavy snow, high winds, frigid temperatures, whiteout conditions and other hazards complicated rescue efforts, which were suspended Dec. 30 after authorities could find no sign of the missing skier and concluded he could not have survived the elements.

The 2.34 inches of rain in downtown L.A. broke a daily record set in 1936 as the storm led to flash floods, debris flows and closed highways and roads.

The area where Angelotta was found Saturday was about half a mile from a residential neighborhood near Schaffer Mill Creek, a “considerable distance from the ski resort boundaries and the backside of the resort,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Searchers believe he got lost during whiteout conditions on Dec. 25, authorities said. He may have been trying to find the neighborhood near Truckee when he succumbed to the harsh conditions.

“There was no indication of any suspicious or unusual activity,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “Due to the considerable distance Angelotta had traveled from the resort, it was not included in the original emergency search efforts. We offer our condolences to the family and hope that this will provide them closure to this tragic event.”


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