A Navy physician’s assistant who was working on Okinawa and was believed to have been swept away by an avalanche in February near Happo-one ski resort in Japan was found in the bed of the Minami Mata River last week.
According to Stripes.com, the 5th Air Force has confirmed the body belongs to Mathew Healy. Healy went missing during a family ski trip to Nagano prefecture in February. 5th Air Force put out this statement after his identity was confirmed:
“We were saddened for the loss of Mathew but are relieved to learn that his body was recovered and he will be going home. We are incredibly grateful to the volunteers and Japanese search and rescue personnel who worked for days in difficult, dangerous conditions to find him. Our thoughts now go to his family as they grieve during this difficult time.”
Following his disappearance there was a massive search effort involving dozens of police, mountain guides and volunteers, who together searched the valley near the ski area to no avail. A GoFundMe campaign raised $64,000 to pay for the effort.
Mathew Healy will be remembered as dedicated husband, father, a member of the Navy medical community, and an Army reservist. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
[image from GoFundMe]