The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday identified the body recovered Tuesday from Mount Rainier as that of Mark Vucich. Cause of death had not been determined.
Vucich’s body was discovered Monday on the Muir Snowfield at the 8,000-foot level, about half a mile above Pebble Creek. The body was within sight of the trail between Camp Muir and Paradise.
The 37-year-old resident of Agoura Hills, Calif., and Michelle Trojanowski, 30, of Atlanta were reported missing Jan. 15 after they failed to return from a snow camping trip on the Muir Snowfield.
Reported missing at the same time were climbers Sork “Eric” Yang of Springfield, Ore., and Seol Hee Jin of South Korea, both 52.
While the four began their trips in good weather conditions, a major storm soon swept over the mountain, dumping several feet of snow, with winds topping 100 mph and a high avalanche danger. The storm delayed for a week any attempt to mount a major search. Park officials had hoped the four were safe and waiting out the storm.
No other evidence or bodies were found in the area Monday.
At the time of Vucich’s disappearance, his stepmother, Faye Vucich, told The Associated Press that he was well-equipped and had outdoor experience but not in the snow. He was training to become a certified mountain guide, another family member said.
“Mark is very knowledgeable about survival techniques – mostly self-taught, from going places with other mountain-climbing friends,” she said at the time. “They’ve got everything they need to survive something like this, but I don’t know how many days. We’re trying to stay optimistic.”
Park officials called off active searches Jan. 28 and were waiting for the snow to melt and reveal any sign of the missing.
“Warm weather is expected to continue rapidly melting snow in the area over the next month or two, which may uncover evidence related to the four missing climbers,” park spokeswoman Patti Wold said Monday.
The search for the three missing people was ongoing, she said. Searches are conducted during scheduled flights over the area and as crews are in the firstname.lastname@example.org