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 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 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 said Voshell knew the region well and had hunted there often.
Difficult terrain hindered search efforts on the ground and snow covered tracks left behind by Voshell on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
Voshell’s hunting dog was found alive. The Whitman County coroner will rule on the cause of Voshell’s death.
Nate Smith, high school principal and Colton schools superintendent, said a memorial service has not been scheduled, but family members were considering holding it at the school later this week.
He said 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.”
Voshell’s son, Trevor, is in the Navy. His daughter, Kirsi, plays center for the Lewis-Clark State College basketball team in Lewiston, Smith said.
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 over a cliff.
“It’s going to be a tough time for Colton,” Smith said.
Voshell had served as coach for the boys and girls basketball teams earlier in his career at Colton. He had 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, the Whitman County Emergency Support Team, Spokane County, the U.S. Border Patrol and Fairchild Air Force Base.
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