Airman who died in fall at Bruneau Canyon identified

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Authorities have recovered the body of an airman from the Mountain Home Air Force Base who died in a fall in a southwestern Idaho canyon.

The base says the man has been identified as Airman First Class Alexander L. Van Meter, 22, of Herscher, IL.

The Idaho Army National Guard used a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to recover the airman, who was a member of the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Another airman told authorities that the two were hiking on Sunday when Airman Van Meter fell into the Bruneau Canyon. The 366th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Chris Short called the death a tragedy and loss of a valued member of the unit.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents and brother during this difficult time," said Lt. Col Jeremy Saunders, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander in a press release. "It's with great sorrow that we mourn the loss of a mighty maintainer, team member and friend."

The cause of death remains under investigation.