Body of missing Butte union worker found

2014-06-16T13:46:00Z 2014-08-14T11:15:04Z Body of missing Butte union worker foundMontana Standard The Billings Gazette
June 16, 2014 1:46 pm  • 

BUTTE — Jefferson County authorities today confirmed that the body found on Homestake Pass last week is that of Jim Ryan.

Undersheriff Mike Johnson told the Standard that the identity was confirmed by the crime lab in Missoula, but that the investigation continues into the cause of death. He said details on the cause of death have not been released.

He said at this point, however, it appears there was no foul play.

He said as the investigation continues, authorities will look at factors such as what Jim Ryan was doing on the pass that day, what was going on in his life at that time and any medical history concerns.

A couple of hikers and their dog found Ryan’s body off of a trail on Homestake Pass on June 8.

The area is near where crews continuously searched for Ryan, who went missing in February amid allegations of embezzlement.

The body was found at about 1:45 p.m. on the south side of Homestake Pass less than a mile from the parking area, authorities said.

Ryan, 54, worked as the business manager for the Sheet Metal Workers International Association in Helena and was to meet with union officials about huge losses from its general fund on the day he disappeared. The union says Ryan took cash advances without explanation, sold union cars without depositing the money into the proper accounts, wrote checks to himself and made questionable credit card transactions over several years.

Ryan lived in Butte and worked in Helena. His car was found near the county line with Silver Bow, whose officials helped in the search efforts.

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