Accused Murderer Of Park Ranger Found Dead
January 2, 2012, 2:45 pm
A plane has spotted a body face down in chest-deep snow on the slopes of Mount Rainier National Park. It's confirmed to be that of 24-year-old Benjamin Barnes, an Iraqi war veteran accused of a Washington State crime spree.
Barnes has been wanted since he allegedly murdered park ranger Margaret Anderson on Sunday. Authorities say he sped through a checkpoint. Shots were fired when she blocked a road. This was hours after police say Barnes was involved in a shooting at a New Year's Eve house party near Seattle that wounded four, two critically.
He's said to have had trouble transitioning back to life as a civilian, is reportedly suicidal and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. His daughter's mother says she feared for the child's safety, citing that Barnes has a stash of weapons, gets easily irritated, angry and depressed.
Anderson was a 34-year-old mother of two young children. Her husband, a fellow ranger, was working elsewhere in the park.