Remains of skier found after two months | RecordCourier.com

Remains of skier found after two months

Thomas Mullarkey

The remains of a missing skier were located by search and rescue dogs on Monday near Groovy Gully at Bear Valley Resort.

Richmond, Calif., resident Thomas Dennis Mullarkey, 66, was first reported missing on March 14 after he failed to return to his cabin after a day of skiing.

Searchers hunted for him for five days in poor visibility from difficult weather while facing the possibility of avalanches without success.

The search was reduced to a continuous examination with in the resort's perimeter and surrounding backcountry as the snow melted.

According to the Alpine County Sheriff's Office, dogs caught the scent of human remains and tracked it to a ski pole and ski protruding from the surface of the snow.

Mullarkey's body was found just beneath the snow at that location.

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"The Alpine County Sheriff's Office offers their sincerest condolences and would like to thank the Mullarkey family and their many friends for their patience and understanding during this very emotional and painful event," Undersheriff Spencer Case said Monday.

Mullarkey's vehicle was located at Bear Valley Mountain Resort not long after his wife made the 11:30 p.m. report.

Because of extreme avalanche danger, searchers could not begin work until day broke on March 15.

Members of the Calaveras County Search and Rescue, Alpine County Search and Rescue, resort ski patrol, and Sheriff's Office personnel resumed the search.

But bad weather grounded any help from the air through March 17 as more than 3 feet of snow fell in the resort.