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Family and friends of Bellingham snowboarder missing since January receive 'closure'

Officials talk about search for missing Bellingham snowboarder

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team, the Ski Patrol and volunteers continue to look for snowboarder Vitaliy Datskiy, 24, in the Mount Baker Ski Area Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. He was reported missing Sunday near the ski area’s Pano
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Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team, the Ski Patrol and volunteers continue to look for snowboarder Vitaliy Datskiy, 24, in the Mount Baker Ski Area Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. He was reported missing Sunday near the ski area’s Pano

A body believed to be Bellingham snowboarder Vitaliy Datskiy, 24, who has been missing since January, was recovered by the Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council over the weekend near Mt. Baker Ski Area.

The council reported Sunday on its Facebook page that it had recovered a body.

"We're honored to have found closure last night for the friends/family of a snow rider missing since January. It's a tough job, but it's what we do," the post stated.

According to an email from Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks, the body is believed to be the snowboarder who was reported missing Jan. 21 after he didn't return to a designated meeting point near the bottom of the ski area's Chair Three. Datskiy reportedly was snowboarding in bounds at the ski area, but had ducked under a rope that marked a danger zone.

An autopsy is planned for Tuesday morning, according to an email from Whatcom County Medical Examiner Dr. Gary Goldfogel, who added that he is working to definitively identify the body.

"We have recovered a body from the mountain and have a presumption to get us started," Dr. Goldfogel wrote.

The body was found on the north face cliffs of Pan Dome, according to Parks, and Datskiy's family was present during the operation.



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