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Body of missing BYU student hiking the Y found

By Dennis Romboy | Posted - Jun. 5, 2013 at 10:33 p.m.


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PROVO — Search and rescue crews descended Y Mountain just after 9 p.m. Wednesday to inform family members they had located the body of a BYU student missing since Saturday.

They didn't offer specific information about what happened to 22-year-old Tyler Mayle, but said his body was found near the base of a sheer, 60-foot cliff near Eagle Pass, a significant distance off the Y trail.

It appears the student was trying to climb the cliff in an area where officers are called regularly to help climbers who have fallen, Provo Police Lt. Mathew Siufanua said.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Previous story resumes below:

While search and rescue teams scour Y Mountain for a missing BYU student Wednesday, his sister was scheduled to enter the Missionary Training Center.

Meantime, the father of Mayle has confidence his son will be found.

"I think he's capable of sticking it out, knowing we're looking for him," said Gary Mayle, who arrived Tuesday from Windsor, Colo.

Tyler Mayle went hiking near Y Mountain around 11:30 a.m. Saturday and hasn't been heard from since. He planned to return Saturday night and attend a meeting Sunday. His family called to report him missing on Tuesday.

Gary Mayle said his son is an Eagle Scout and that they have spent many days in the mountains elk hunting since Tyler was young.

"He knows what it takes to take care of himself," he said, adding his biggest concern is lack of resources, particularly water.

Hailey Mayle, Tyler's 19-year-old sister, posted on Facebook a plea to family and friends to pray for her brother. She is scheduled to enter the MTC on Wednesday to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, N.H.

Siufanua said rescuers are intensifying the search because time is critical.

"The teams that we have up there are highly trained and are systematically searching the mountain," he said. "We are using every necessary resource that we have trying to find Tyler."


He had indicated that there were some new areas that he wanted to explore, and we think maybe he's done that.

–Gary Mayle


As of Wednesday morning, 55 search and rescue team members from various agencies were on the mountain along with a half-dozen search dogs and their handlers and a horse posse, Siufanua said. A helicopter and airplane have also been used in the search.

Friends have told police Mayle talked to them about the route he planned to hike, Siufanua said. Authorities found Mayle's car at the base of the mountain.

Searchers are focusing on an area known as Eagle Pass and an old logging road. The terrain is steep and rocky and covered with pines trees, scrub oak and rock slides. There are also several caves on the mountainside.

"It's a beautiful place, but it's very dangerous," said Provo Fire Battalion Chief Tom Augustus.

Mayle, a BYU junior studying communication and political science, had a cellphone and a hydration pack when he left for the hike, Siufanua said.

Searchers have tried "pinging" his phone to pinpoint his location but believe the battery died about 6 p.m. Tuesday. They took his father's cellphone to the search area Wednesday in attempt to ping a location from it.

Authorities asked volunteers to refrain from joining the search at this time. Augustus said it could throw off the scent for search dogs. The search is scheduled to end at 10 p.m. Wednesday, but will resume Thursday morning.

Video Contributing: Alex Cabrero, Andrew Wittenburg and Haley Smith

Contributing: Emiley Morgan

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