Upsetting news that has left everyone wondering... what happened?
DEC Forest Rangers are always responding to missing hikers across New York State. Typically it's the hiker calling for help, but rangers know the situation is even more serious when a third party gets involved.
That would be the case for this missing Central New Yorker.
Forest Ranger Cooley recently overheard radio traffic about a missing hiker in the Town of Middlefield. The Otsego County Sheriff's Department needed help searching for a 61-year-old, who was reported missing by his coworkers. They said his car had been in their office parking lot for the past 3-days, with no sight of him in that span.
They also said the man had planned to go hiking at Natty Bumppo's Cave, but that was several days ago. Forest Ranger Cooley and Sheriff's Deputies took the lead and went straight there, searching the caves and cliffs everywhere for the man.
Unfortunately, this is where the story takes a turn for the worst.
Missing Hiker Found
A Deputy called the hiker's phone and heard it ringing. It wasn't until Cooley spotted a blue object in the woods that they got their answer. The man had unfortunately passed away.
His body was then transported to the local coroner and the search was completely wrapped up 2pm. The 3-day mystery had ended on a sour note.
Though his cause of death is not being announced, a freak accident can happen anywhere at anytime. About 50% of all hiking fatalities are from sudden cardiac arrest, which can happen in the blink of an eye.
It's always important to let others know where you are hiking and what time you plan to return. That way if you're ever in danger, you'll have someone come to your rescue before it's too late.
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