PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Brian Yang, an Army lieutenant who went missing near Mount St. Helens, was found dead Wednesday afternoon at the bottom of a steep drop, deputies said.
Yang was last seen at the Coldwater Trail Head around 12 p.m. on Sunday. He was believed to be training for an upcoming Ultra Marathon event, according to Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.
Wednesday’s search began with a focus on the south side of the mountain, deputies said. About 100 soldiers joined the search.
Hikers in the Mount Whittier area reported finding an unresponsive hiker on a ridge below them just before 2 p.m., deputies said. The person was wearing clothing that matched Yang’s description. Search and rescue workers arrived and confirmed the person was indeed Yang. He was dead.
Authorities said Yang appeared to have fallen about 200 feet down a very steep embankment.
Officials with Joint Base Lewis McCord issued this statement:
“First Lt. Yang touched the lives of so many within our organization and will be sorely missed. We want to thank all of the law enforcement and the local public who volunteered their time to help look for Brian,” said Lt. Col. Alan Fowler. “Brian was an exceptional Soldier and leader, but an even better man. His absence has left us all devastated and our sincerest condolences go out to the family, friends and Soldiers affected by this tragedy.”