Hiker’s dog finds suicide victim | SummitDaily.com

Hiker’s dog finds suicide victim

Jane Reuter

SUMMIT COUNTY – A 38-year-old Wildernest man was found dead of an apparent suicide late Sunday afternoon a couple of hundred yards from a popular local hiking trail.

The man likely died of a prescription drug overdose, said Coroner Dave Joslin. An open prescription pill bottle was lying next to his body, and a suicide note was found in his back pocket, the coroner said.

The man, who was employed as a plumber, was reported missing after failing to show up for work on June 18, Joslin said. He had been a resident of Summit County for seven years.

His roommate reported him missing June 23, telling a Sheriff’s deputy the man had been gone since June 18 and “has never left like this before,” according to the Sheriff’s report. The victim had left all his clothes and personal possessions behind, and his roommate said he did not have a vehicle. The roommate told the deputy his friend had a history of seizures. The man’s mother also told deputies the disappearance was not like her son.

The body was found about one-quarter mile west up the Salt Lick Gulch trail, which begins near the Wildernest Property Management offices at the base of Wildernest. A hiker’s dog found the body about 200 yards off the trail, and led the hiker to it, officials said. Joslin speculates the body had been there since the man’s mid-June disappearance.

“Everything is consistent with suicide, though we need to get autopsy and toxicology results back from the coroner’s office for affirmation on that,” said Summit County Sheriff Joe Morales.

The deceased man has a wife in Fort Worth, Texas, from whom he had been separated for several years, as well as two sons whom he also had reportedly not seen in a number of years, Joslin said. The man’s mother lives in California.

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at jreuter@summitdaily.com

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