The body of a missing snowboarder has been found in the backcountry near Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in the Tahoe area.
25-year-old Shawnte Willis was last seen snowboarding with her boyfriend and friends Tuesday afternoon near the boundary of Alpine Meadows on an advanced slope.
Her body was found about 400 feet away from the Pacific Crest Trail on the back side of the mountain. Search and rescue crews say she was found in an area that was considered treacherous because of avalanche danger, and teams could not thoroughly search the area until the skies clear Thursday morning.
She was found by a search helicopter around 9 a.m. in a tree well, and officials say she may have crashed into the tree. However, at this time, until an autopsy is done, officials are not sure how exactly Willis died, or what happened on the mountain. She has epilepsy, however it's not clear if that played a role in her death.
Placer County search and rescue teams headed out into the snowy conditions Wednesday morning after Willis' friends reported her missing Tuesday night when she never made it to the bottom of the hill. Wednesday's efforts were hampered by blizzard conditions; crews could not use all the their equipment or do extensive searching because of the high winds, avalanche danger and continuous heavy snow.
Overnight lows in the area got down to the single-digits, and several inches of new snow fell during this week's storm.