“Slain Ranger Was Living Her Dream.”
That’s the headline at the website of The Seattle Times, which profiles 34-year-old Margaret Anderson, who was shot to death Sunday in Mount Rainier National Park.
A manhunt is underway for the park ranger’s killer. Authorities say they’re looking for 24-year-old Benjamin Colton Barnes, who’s also a suspect in a shooting incident Sunday near Seattle that left four people injured. Barnes, who authorities say is a military veteran, is thought to be heavily armed. Overnight, about 125 people were evacuated from the park’s visitors center where they had taken shelter immediately after the murder.
Anderson, who authorities say was killed during what began as a routine traffic stop in the park, “and her husband, Eric, were living their dream, finally working as U.S. park rangers in the same national park while raising a young family,” relatives told the Seattle newspaper. Their daughter Anna turns 4-years-old on Feb. 14. Her sister Katie, the Times says, turns 2 in May.
The Andersons met when they were rangers at Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. They married in 2005 and were able to get jobs at the same park — Rainier — about four years ago.
Margaret Anderson’s father, Lutheran Rev. Paul Kritsch of Scotch Plains, N.J., tells Seattle’s KING-TV that “his daughter always had an interest in wildlife and the outdoors and wanted to help people and that’s what finally led her to being a federal park ranger. ‘The community has lost a friend, somebody who cared about her job, cared about the people, cared about their safety, and wanted to make sure that everybody was having a safe time when they came to the park,’ he said.”