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Body found in Rutherford identified

The RCMP has identified the body discovered in Rutherford Creek on Dec. 14 Ð a victim of the Oct. 18, 2003 flood that washed out the bridge linking Pemberton to Whistler Ð as that of 35-year-old Pemberton resident Robert Michael Leibel.

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The body was found inside a stolen Isuzu Trooper that excavators working downstream of the bridge uncovered in Rutherford Creek. Later that day the RCMP confirmed there was a body inside.

Leibel was discovered with items suggesting that he robbed the local Pemberton Shell station, where he was employed, before fleeing down the highway.

Leibel was never reported missing.

The RCMP Forensic Identification section identified the body shortly after it was discovered, but they could not release that information until they notified the victimÕs next of kin. According to Whistler RCMP, the family was notified some time ago, but they werenÕt able to confirm that with the investigating officer until this week.

The discovery of the body brought the death toll from 2003Õs record floods to five, including the occupants of two other vehicles.