Okinawa Navy civilian perished in Nagano avalanche, Japanese officials say
A Navy civilian who went missing last week while skiing the Japanese alps was killed in an avalanche, search-and-rescue teams told the victim’s family over the weekend.
Mathew Healy, a physician assistant who worked on Okinawa, was last seen around noon Monday at the Happo-one ski resort in Nagano prefecture.
Healy’s wife, Brooke Healy, said she was devastated to report that her husband wouldn’t be returning home, in a message posted Sunday to the GoFundMe page where people donated more than $60,000 for search efforts.
“The search and rescue teams have determined that he perished in an avalanche, and due to the extreme conditions, we will be unable to recover him until Japan’s long winter season has passed,” she wrote.
Searchers ended their efforts Saturday after consulting with Healy’s family, a Japanese police spokesman said. Police will continue to monitor the area and follow up on clues to recover his body as snow melts in the spring.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez, commander of U.S. Forces Japan, expressed condolences on behalf of the U.S. military in the country.
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