Risky recovery planned for Orleans man presumed dead - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Risky recovery planned for Orleans man presumed dead

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A risky recovery mission is underway in the Northeast Kingdom.

The victim is presumed to be a missing man from Orleans.

"His roommate knocked on my door and said 'Tyler didn't come home last night, do you know where he might be' and I said I saw his car at the trailhead for Pisgah," said Brandon Covert, friend of Tyler Robinson. 

That car has been the last sign of life for 23-year-old Robinson of Orleans who has been missing since last weekend.
His longtime friend, Covert, fears Robinson's life was cut short during a hike at Lake Willoughby, something he was known to do, despite a bad knee from a prior injury.

"The cliff there is technical at the top, to say the least, so if he's near the edge, seeing the view and something happened to that knee. I don't know what could've happened, you know," said Covert. 

State Police aren't sure what happened to Robinson yet, either. But search crews looking for him have found a body about two miles up the north trail.

"This is one of the most challenging and technical rescues that I think we've had to conduct in Vermont," said Neil Van Dyke, search and rescue coordinator.

Recovery of the body has been delayed by nearly a week due to the extreme terrain.
The victim is on a ledge sticking out of a near 300-foot cliff. Search and rescue teams have been evaluating the best approach.

"If everything works out as planned, would be to climb down the cliff, secure the body, hoist the body back up onto a shelf," said Captain Robert Cushing, Vermont State Police.

The body was first spotted on Monday, but because the recovery had to be pushed back, the trailhead has been closed and State Police troopers have been keeping watch around the clock.

"We don't want anybody to get hurt doing this," said Cushing. 

This week's efforts are a stark reminder of what state police teams faced 25 years ago in Huntington Gorge.
There, a trooper was killed while trying to recover someone who drowned.

"There's no question that's in the back of people's minds that it is possible for people involved with rescues and recoveries to become victims themselves -and we hope that never happens again in Vermont," said Van Dyke.

The body in this recovery hasn't been positively identified yet, but Robinson's friends are already preparing for a vigil next week to honor their friend.

"Tyler was a great guy. He did everything for Judy, his mother. So we've got to just, as his friends, be there for her," said Covert. 

The recovery is expected to begin around 8 a.m. Saturday.

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Police: Extensive recovery effort to retrieve body

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