PROVO — Search and rescue crews descended Y Mountain just after 9 p.m. Wednesday to inform family members they had located the body of a BYU student missing since Saturday.
They didn't offer specific information about what happened to 22-year-old Tyler Mayle, but said his body was found near the base of a sheer, 60-foot cliff near Eagle Pass, a significant distance off the Y trail.
It appears the student was trying to climb the cliff in an area where officers are called regularly to help climbers who have fallen, Provo Police Lt. Mathew Siufanua said.
While searchers scoured the mountain through the day Wednesday, Mayle's sister entered the Missionary Training Center, and his father expressed confidence his son would be found.
"I think he's capable of sticking it out, knowing we're looking for him," said Gary Mayle, who arrived Tuesday from Windsor, Colo.
Tyler Mayle went hiking near Y Mountain around 11:30 a.m. Saturday. He planned to return Saturday night and attend a meeting Sunday. His family called to report him missing on Tuesday.
Hailey Mayle, Tyler's 19-year-old sister, posted on Facebook a plea to family and friends to pray for her brother. She was scheduled to enter the MTC on Wednesday to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, N.H.
Her mother, Lori Mayle, said Hailey ultimately decided to go ahead with her mission as scheduled.
"We let her make the choice on how she would move forward," Lori Mayle said. "She chose to go in. She decided she wanted to study the gospel and be in a spiritual state in the trial her family is going through. We're hoping for a good outcome."
Rescuers intensified the search Wednesday, Siufanua said.
"The teams that we have up there are highly trained and are systematically searching the mountain," he said. "We are using every necessary resource that we have trying to find Tyler."
As of Wednesday morning, 55 search and rescue team members from various agencies were on the mountain along with a half-dozen search dogs and their handlers and a horse posse, Siufanua said. A helicopter and airplane have also been used in the search.
Friends told police that Tyler Mayle talked to them about the route he planned to hike, Siufanua said. Authorities found his car at the base of the mountain.
Searchers were focusing Wednesday on an area known as Eagle Pass and an old logging road. The terrain is steep and rocky and covered with pines trees, scrub oak and rock slides. There are also several caves on the mountainside.
"It's a beautiful place, but it's very dangerous," said Provo Fire Battalion Chief Tom Augustus. "We see just a little portion of what's up there. … There's a lot of area to get lost in."
Tyler Mayle, a BYU junior studying communication and political science, had a cellphone and a hydration pack when he left for the hike, Siufanua said.
Searchers tried "pinging" his phone to pinpoint his location but believe the battery died about 6 p.m. Tuesday. They took his father's cellphone to the search area Wednesday in attempt to ping a location from it.
They also identified the specific kind of shoe Tyler Mayle was wearing and were looking for any tracks matching the pattern on the sole of his shoe.