A popular Colton, Wash., high school science teacher may have slipped on ice covered by snow and then slid down a cliff to his death, officials said on Monday.
The body of Glenn Voshell, who went missing Saturday while spending the day bird-hunting, was found Monday morning during an extensive search in Whitman County.
Voshell, 45, was a Colton High School science teacher for the past 16 years and former high school basketball coach at the school, located south of Pullman.
He was reported missing Saturday night after his vehicle was spotted parked on a road west of Colton in a popular hunting area along the rugged Snake River canyon.
Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers said Voshell’s body was found along the canyon breaks above the Snake River, about 1.5 miles from his vehicle.
Myers says Voshell knew the region well and had often gone hunting there.
Difficult terrain hindered search efforts on the ground and snow covered tracks left behind by Voshell on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
The sheriff said it appeared Voshell had fallen some distance.
Voshell’s hunting dog was found alive. The case was turned over to the Whitman County Coroner to rule on the cause of death.
Nate Smith, principal and superintendent at Colton schools, said a memorial service has not been set, but family members were considering holding it at the school later this week.
He said that Voshell was a valuable teacher who will be missed.
“He was pretty popular with the kids,” Smith said. “He was a genuinely good guy. It’s just a tragic, tragic situation.”
He had a son, Trevor, who is in the Navy and a daughter, Kirsi, who plays center for the Lewis-Clark State College basketball team in Lewiston, Smith said. Kirsi Voshell missed a Sunday game after her father was reported missing.
Smith said he was told after the recovery that Voshell may have slipped on ice that had been covered with snow at a spot where water springs from the ground. After losing his footing, he apparently slid down a chute and then over a cliff edge.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman, Smith said. “It’s not like he was inexperienced.”
“It’s going to be a tough time for Colton,” he said.
Voshell had served as coach for the boys and girls basketball teams earlier in his career at Colton. He also served on the Colton City Council and was regarded as a civic leader.
He taught all of the science disciplines in the small high school along with driver’s education and the Science Olympiad competitive science class, Smith said.
The search for Voshell was aided by personnel from Latah and Nez Perce counties in Idaho, Whitman County Emergency Support Team, Spokane County, the U.S. Border Patrol and Fairchild Air Force Base.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.