Chino man’s body discovered 20+ later after being buried by avalanche in Peru – NBC Los Angeles

Melting glaciers helped uncover the body of a Chino man who was buried under deep snow in Peru during an avalanche more than two decades ago.

Bill Stampfl’s family received the shocking news two weeks ago that the body of their father, who went missing during a hike on Huascaran Mountain 22 years ago, was discovered by other climbers.

“Right now, it’s still a little bit overwhelming,” said Jennifer Stampfl, Bill’s daughter.

Jennifer recalls getting a call from her brother informing her of the news. He shared that another climber called and said they found their father’s body.

“I’ve had dreams over the past 22 years, where my dad is walking around aimlessly in Peru with amnesia, not knowing who he is or who he belongs to, or where he’s supposed to be,” Jennifer said.

Ryan Cooper, of Las Vegas, tracked down Joseph Stampfl to inform him of the miraculous discovery.

“When we approached Bill, we had known some obvious first things you would notice is he’s been there for a really long time,” Cooper said. “Like, his mountaineering attire was, I figured, from the late 90s, early 2000s just by looking at it.”

In a fanny pack on Bill, Cooper said he found a passport.

“As soon as me and my brother, Wesley, found out he was an American, we knew right then it was going to be our responsibility to reach out and then try to find who this climber’s family was,” Cooper said.

Before Cooper and his group made it down the mountain, they contacted friends and family to help track down Stampfl’s family.

It was around this time 22 years ago that Bill and two friends were caught in the avalanche. Only one of their bodies had been recovered so far.

“I’m happy that he’s coming home,” Jennifer said. “You know, nobody wants their loved one where they can’t have them back.”

The Stampfl family hired a rescue team to recover Bill’s body late last week. They say the plan is to have it driven to Lime, Peru’s capital, and cremate their father’s body before returning him to the U.S.

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