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UPDATE | Search still on for former Arlington City Council member Dan Anderson in the mountains
DARRINGTON — The search remains ongoing for Marysville resident and former Arlington City Council member Daniel Anderson.
Anderson, a 46-year-old Washington State Patrol trooper for 20 years, was off-duty when his spot locator signaled an emergency at 6:15 p.m. on May 15. He'd been part of a group that was biking and snowshoeing on the west side of the mountains, before he went hiking alone east across the Cascade Range from Granite Falls, with Holden Village near Stehekin as his planned destination.
According to Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Director of Communications Rebecca Hover, rescuers followed Anderson's tracks at the 4,000-foot level near Miner's Creek.
"The tracks went back and forth, upstream and downstream, suggesting he was perhaps trying to find a place to cross the creek," said Hover, who noted that the tracks are believed to be about a day old as of May 17.
Hover added that rescuers made it to the 3,900-foot level, where the terrain turned to wet snow and the tracks were washed out.
"That area is near a steep ravine described as a very rugged area, icy and slippery," Hover said on May 17. "Rescuers have not gone down the ravine yet as it is too dangerous. It is unclear right now if some of them will attempt to do so later, if they have the training and the appropriate ropes and equipment to do so."
As of May 17, Hover stated that rescuers don't know if Anderson tried to go down the ravine, or if he turned around and went in a different direction. She explained that more volunteer rescuers from teams throughout the Puget Sound area would be joining the search, possibly as many as 25, and put into three- to four-person teams which would be sent out as training and safety allow.
"Our helicopter is in Darrington at the moment to refuel and will go back up shortly to shuttle new teams to the search area," Hover said on May 17. "The King County Sheriff's Office is expected to bring its helicopter to help shuttle teams too."
Anderson was first sworn into office on the Arlington City Council in the two-year at-large position in January of 2000, and then ran for a four-year seat for the following term. He stepped down from the Council in March of 2006 because he was moving outside of the Arlington city limits, to be closer to his job on the Washington State Patrol. He then moved with his wife and two sons to the Whiskey Ridge area, which has since been annexed into the city of Marysville.
Arlington Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield described Anderson as an avid skier and experienced outdoorsman who would have known the weather and environmental conditions that he faced on his solo excursion.
"Dan was very passionate about public safety and hugely supportive of training for police officers and firefighters," Banfield said. "He was unique in having served in the Marines, in Special Forces and in the National Guard. He wouldn't have set off that signal unless he needed it."