Emery County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
Search crews have recovered the body of the skier who was buried by an avalanche Friday afternoon in a remote area north of Electric Lake in Emery County. The victim has been identified as 26-year-old Michael Besendorfer of Nephi, Utah.
Crews conducted an initial search Friday night, but conditions were deemed too dangerous and the search was suspended at midnight. The search by ground and air resumed Saturday morning after UDOT crews blasted some unstable slopes in the search area. Utah Avalanche Center monitored conditions as searchers were inserted by air, on snowmobiles, timber sleds, snow cats, skis and snowshoes. A search dog and handler were flown in, and teams from Alta Ski Resort and Wasatch Back Country Rescue responded to offer their expertise.
Besendorfer’s body was located around noon on Saturday after the search dog, Lucy, indicated on an area. Wasatch Back Country Rescuers positively located the body based on Lucy’s indication, and recovery efforts began.
Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk extends a huge thanks to all agencies involved in this search. It was a combined effort by Emery County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Sanpete County Search and Rescue, Utah DPS helicopter crew, Utah State Parks, UDOT, Forest Service, Utah Avalanche Center, Wasatch Back County Rescue and Alta Ski Resort. Conditions were difficult and ECSO is grateful for the safety of all involved in the search and recovery effort.
The Emery County Sheriff’s Office extends sincere condolences to the Besendorfer family during this difficult time.