Slain Mount Rainier park ranger was a K-State graduate

The National Park Service ranger killed Sunday during a routine traffic stop at Mount Rainier had ties to Kansas through her college years.

Margaret Anderson, a 34-year-old mother of two small daughters, graduated with honors in 1999 from Kansas State University, with a bachelor’s in fisheries and wildlife biology.

The New Jersey native then attended law enforcement training in Arizona before working as a seasonal ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, where she met her husband, Eric, also a ranger.

In 2003, she returned to Kansas for a master’s in biology at Fort Hays State University.

Greg Shine, the Mount Rainier National Park spokesman, said Anderson and her family moved to Mount Rainier in 2008.

“Everybody knew Margaret. Everybody was friends with Margaret,” said Kevin Bacher, another park spokesman. “She was the most positive person, the sort of person who would drop everything at a moment’s notice — and did.”

Her suspected assailant, a 24-year-old former Army private first class identified as Benjamin Colton Barnes, had been on the run after allegedly shooting four people at a party the night before.

Barnes was found dead Monday morning, apparently from exposure. His military service ended in the fall of 2009. He received a misconduct discharge at Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord) after being charged with DUI and improper transport of a privately owned weapon.

Barnes had served with the Fourth Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, a Styker unit that deployed to Iraq in 2007.

Compiled from The Associated Press and news reports.