Matthew Renda
Nevada Appeal News Service

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December 30, 2010
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Missing Lake Tahoe snowboarder found dead in tree well

TAHOE CITY, Calif. - Placer County authorities have located the body of a snowboarder who went missing Tuesday afternoon after she became separated from her friends at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, an official has confirmed.

Shawnte Marie Willis, 25, was found dead Thursday morning by search and rescue workers, said Alpine Meadows Spokeswoman Rachael Woods in a phone interview at about 11:10 a.m. Thursday with the Sierra Sun.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death in a press conference later Thursday morning at Alpine Meadows.

Willis, a resident of Tahoma, Calif., was found at about 9:10 a.m. Thursday near the base of a tree approximately 400 feet below the Pacific Crest Trail in the Granite Chief Wilderness Area, according to a press release from Woods.

Search and rescue crews used ground workers and a military helicopter with infrared technology in their quest to find Willis.

Placer County Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Ausnow said searchers located Willis' body from the helicopter. She appeared to have crashed while snowboarding, according to the Associated Press.

Ausnow told the Associated Press that inclement weather on Tuesday and Wednesday prevented a thorough search of the area where Willis was eventually found.

"Alpine Meadows wishes to extend its deepest sympathy to Shawnte's family and friends," Woods said in the release.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Dec 30, 2010 04:10PM Published Dec 30, 2010 04:09PM Copyright 2010 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.