Body of an Austrian man believed to have died in 2001 found high in the Alps

BERLIN (AP) — A mountain guide has found the remains high in the Austrian Alps of a man believed to have died in an accident on a glacier 22 years ago, police said Tuesday.

The body was found on Friday on the Schlatenkees glacier in the Hohe Tauern national park in eastern Tyrol province, near the Italian border and at an altitude of about 2,900 meters (9,515 feet), police said in a statement. The remains had clearly been there for some time, they added.

The guide alerted police in Lienz, who recovered the body with the help of a helicopter.

A few meters below the body, rescuers found a backpack containing cash, a bank card and a driving license. Police determined that the remains appear to be those of an Austrian man who was 37 at the time and is believed to have died in 2001. The man had cross-country skiing equipment.

A DNA comparison is being carried out to confirm the man's identity. The result is expected in a few weeks.

As glaciers increasingly melt and recede, which many scientists blame on global warming, there has been an increase in discoveries of the remains of hikers, skiers and other Alpinists who went missing decades ago.

The Schlatenkees glacier itself was the scene of one such previous find. Bones found there in 2011 were believed to be those of a local man who had missing since 1957.

In neighboring Switzerland, police said last month that DNA tests confirmed that a body found on a glacier near the Matterhorn was that of a German mountaineer who disappeared in 1986.