Backcountry skier rescued, another found dead east of Vail Ski Resort

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VAIL, Colo. — A man was rescued after getting lost in the woods east of Vail Ski Resort on Monday, but the body of a friend who had gone backcountry skiing with him was found in the same area the next day, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.

The dead man was identified by the Eagle County Coroner’s Office as Samuel Failla, 24 of New Jersey.

The first man called 911 about 7 p.m. Monday to say he had fallen off a trail and had spent several hours trying to hike out.

Crews with the Vail Mountain Rescue Group and the Vail Ski Patrol found the man and took him to safety.

But the man, who was not identified, didn’t tell rescuers that he had been accompanied by a friend.

He later told authorities that he assumed Failla got out of the woods on his own.

At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the man who was rescued called the sheriff’s office to report Failla was missing.

Search and rescue crews returned to the same area where they conducted the rescue on Monday and found Failla’s body.

The coroner’s office has not released the cause of death.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 970-328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007.

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