Missing hunter found dead in Ashburnham
ASHBURNHAM — A missing hunter was found deceased in the woods after a search Dec. 23.
According to officials, a caller notified police around 5 p.m. that a male hunter had gone missing in a thickly wooded area of approximately 70 acres near Sherbert Road and Depot Road.
It was reported that the individual had left his residence about six hours earlier, when the weather was mild and he was expected to return home well before dark.
Police were also notified that the missing hunter was not carrying a cellphone and was most likely not dressed for the severe weather conditions, including temperatures in the teens, which were present at the time of the call.
Several neighbors had entered the woods prior to the call to search for the man but were not successful in locating him, according to police.
Police K-9 unit joins in search
Personnel from the town’s police and fire departments, including a police K-9 unit, were deployed in the wooded area to conduct a search. Officials were unable to use a helicopter or drone during the search due to deteriorating weather conditions.
“A police K-9 was able to track a scent which ended in a swamp,” said Ashburnham Police Chief Chris Conrad, who added that members of the Massachusetts District 8 Technical Rescue Team were contacted by the Ashburnham Fire Department to assist in the search.
“Upon (the rescue team's) arrival, three teams of approximately six to eight people made up of Ashburnham police, fire, District 8 staff, and a few residents from the area who were familiar with the area were deployed on foot to conduct an extensive search,” Conrad said.
Victim believed to have died of natural causes
The body of the missing hunter was located in an area near where the K-9 track had been lost at approximately 9:15 p.m., according to police.
Officials said it appeared the hunter, who was a resident of Ashburnham, had died of natural causes and was deceased prior to the onset of extreme weather conditions.
Police have not released the identity of the victim.
This article originally appeared on Gardner News: Ashburnham Missing Hunter Found Deceased