By Lemor Abrams

SUGAR BOWL (CBS13) — A search team found the body of a missing ski instructor during a training exercise on Monday.

Carson May, 23, disappeared last month after going out alone on Jan. 14 during whiteout conditions. His body was found under five feet of snow near Sugar Bowl Ski Resort.

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Deputies say May’s cellphone was in his jacket pocket the whole time, and the phone was in a waterproof case. But when the battery ran out, searchers were out of luck until Monday’s discovery.

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Mike May’s grief started out as denial, but he says he’s been hit with the hard truth about his son.

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten out of shock,” he said. “When you find a body, it’s pretty hard to deny that it happened.”

Carson May’s body was found in the same location his cellphone pinged before the battery ran out. His father wonders what could have been if investigators had accessed the phone directly and quickly.

“We never knew the exact position based on that cell phone so i think new technologies would help give more reliability if it wasn’t just based just on the cellphone towers,” he said.

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It’s called Stingray surveillance, a controversial phone tracker technology that acts like a cellphone tower and intercepts all signals in the area. Because of the way it works, privacy advocates are concerned about the use of a man-in-the-middle attack on cellphone users who may not be aware their communications are being intercepted.

But Mike May wants privacy laws suspended during search and rescues in hopes that those moments saved could mean the difference between finding a missing person in hours or days, or waiting weeks for the body to turn up, as was the case with his son.

“Chances are Carson died in an avalanche and it was quick, so in the end they wouldn’t have saved his life a day later—it certainly would have saved a lot of people the long drawn out rescue over four days,” he said.

Like his son, Mike May is an expert skier. He was blinded as a toddler and went on to hold the Paralympics downhill speed skiing record for a totally blind person. In 2000, he regained some vision after a breakthrough stem cell surgery.

But he says none of that changed his life like the death of his son.

“There’s an open wound that’ll just be there forever,” he said.

Now he’s on a mission to make change.

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The family will hold a public memorial for him in April, just days after Carson would have turned 24.