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Ranger Killed In Rainier Park Was 'Living Her Dream'

Jan 2, 2012
Originally published on January 2, 2012 1:37 pm

"Slain Ranger Was Living Her Dream."

That's the headline at the website of The Seattle Times, which profiles 34-year-old Margaret Anderson, who was shot to death Sunday in Mount Rainier National Park.

New paragraph at 2:25 p.m. ET: The hunt for Anderson's killer may be over. According to The Associated Press, "authorities say the body of an Iraq war veteran suspected in [her] slaying ... was believed to have been found dead in the park Monday. A search had been underway for 24-year-old Benjamin Colton Barnes, who was also a suspect in a shooting incident Sunday near Seattle that left four people injured. Barnes, who authorities say is a military veteran, was thought to be heavily armed. The AP adds that "he apparently died after trudging into chest-deep snow while trying to elude snow-shoe wearing SWAT team members and other police who were on his trail."

Anderson, who authorities say was killed during what began as a routine traffic stop in the park, "and her husband, Eric, were living their dream, finally working as U.S. park rangers in the same national park while raising a young family," relatives told the Seattle newspaper. Their daughter Anna turns 4-years-old on Feb. 14. Her sister Katie, the Times says, turns 2 in May.

The Andersons met when they were rangers at Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park. They married in 2005 and were able to get jobs at the same park — Rainier — about four years ago.

Margaret Anderson's father, Lutheran Rev. Paul Kritsch of Scotch Plains, N.J., tells Seattle's KING-TV that "his daughter always had an interest in wildlife and the outdoors and wanted to help people and that's what finally led her to being a federal park ranger. 'The community has lost a friend, somebody who cared about her job, cared about the people, cared about their safety, and wanted to make sure that everybody was having a safe time when they came to the park,' he said."

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