BERLIN (AP) — A mountain guide has found the remains of a man believed to have died 22 years ago in a glacier accident high in the Austrian Alps, police said Tuesday.
The body was found Friday on the Schlatenkees Glacier in Hohe Tauern National Park in East Tyrol province, near the Italian border and at an elevation of about 2,900 meters (9,515 feet), police said in a statement. The remains had clearly been there for some time, they added.
The guide alerted the police in Lienz, who recovered the body with the help of a helicopter.
A few feet below the body, rescuers found a backpack containing cash, a bank card and a driver’s license. Police determined that the remains appear to belong to an Austrian man who was 37 at the time and believed to have died in 2001. The man had cross-country skiing equipment with him.
A DNA comparison is being performed to confirm the man’s identity. The result is expected in a few weeks.
As glaciers continue to melt and disappear, which many scientists blame on global warming, there has been an increase in discoveries of the remains of hikers, skiers and other alpinists who went missing decades ago.
The Schlatenkees Glacier itself was the scene of such an earlier find. The bones found there in 2011 are said to belong to a local man who had been missing since 1957.
In neighboring Switzerland, police said last month that DNA tests confirmed that a body found on a glacier near the Matterhorn was that of a German mountaineer who disappeared in 1986.