Fears Confirmed on Mt. Shasta

Rescue crews find the body of missing Oakland manbody

Thursday, Apr 1, 2010  |  Updated 1:20 PM PDT
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Fears Confirmed on Mt. Shasta

Officials are saying that a search and rescue team has found the body of Thomas Bennett, the 26-year-old climber from Oakland who was stranded since Saturday on Mount Shasta.

A rescue crew reached him Thursday morning by helicopter.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department reported that a seven-man team took off in a California National Guard helicopter Thursday after being delayed for days by bad weather. U.S. Forest Service rangers also were on board.

Rescuers have been trying to reach 26-year-old Thomas Bennett of Oakland since Sunday, when his climbing partner called 911. His friend, Mark Thomas of Berkeley, told authorities that Bennett was unconscious and could be dead.

Mark Thomas was rescued Monday after he began descending without his friend.

Rescuers have been prevented from launching a search due to severe weather and poor visibility.

 Shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday, crews found a snow cave marked with a  black avalanche marker described to them earlier.

Rescuers dug into the cave and found Bennett deceased. His body  was airlifted off of the mountain.

Bennett's family, who has been waiting at the Weed Airport, has  been informed of his death, sheriff's officials said. An autopsy will be  scheduled within the next several days.
 

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