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Cook County grad found in Colorado ski country

The body of a 19-year-old Cook County graduate who recently left the North Shore and moved in with his older brother in Colorado ski country has been found.

Authorities recovered the body of snowboarder Jasper ‘Jaz' McGrath Thursday afternoon in an out-of-bounds area near the Blue Sky Basin area of Vail Mountain.

McGrath died of suffocation from an avalanche, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said.

Jasper McGrath's brother, Joe McGrath, reported him missing last Sunday when he realized he hadn't seen or heard from him since the previous Wednesday, Jan. 6. Jasper McGrath had been staying with his brother for about two months and was last seen leaving the West Vail home on his way to go snowboarding that day.

Bettis said she presumes McGrath died Jan. 6 because that's when he was last seen. Officials estimate McGrath was buried under 3 ½ feet of snow.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center's website said McGrath likely triggered the avalanche himself.

Two skiers notified Vail Ski Patrol on Thursday that they had spotted a body near Miller Cliffs, an out-of-bounds area about a half mile west of the Vail Mountain ski area boundary. Vail Mountain closed two lifts in the Blue Sky Basin area during the recovery, the release said.