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CONTACT:
Lt. Craig Morocco, NHFG: 603-352-9669
Bill Gegas, NH State Parks: 603-271-3556
February 21, 2012

Man's Body Recovered in Monadnock State Park

KEENE, N.H. – The body of a 21-year-old Alexandria, N.H., man was recovered today, Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at Monadnock State Park after a coordinated search during which the park was closed because evidence suggested that the missing man may have been armed and despondent. A preliminary investigation indicates the hiker appeared to have taken his own life with a firearm. The deceased man was found on the White Cross Trail near the summit and was carried out by N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers and Jaffrey Police, assisted by N.H. State Park staff.

It was a long, tense day at the state park. Assistant Park Manager Sue Tirrell had initially encountered the man on Monday afternoon around 4:30 p.m., observing that he was hiking alone and appeared to be unprepared; Tirrell spoke to him about the need to be properly equipped before setting out on the trails, especially that late in the day. Upon returning to the park Tuesday morning, Tirrell discovered the man's vehicle still in the parking lot. She immediately called Conservation Officers from the N.H. Fish and Game Department. 

Jaffrey Police searched the man's vehicle and discovered evidence which led them to believe that the hiker was armed. Based on this, and information gathered from the man's family, roommate and local police, Monadnock State Park was immediately closed.
Fish and Game quickly initiated a search of the main trails on Mt. Monadnock. A N.H. State Police helicopter with infrared sensors scanned the mountain from above, and a N.H. State Police bloodhound was called in to assist with the ground search

The search continued through the day, until concluding when rescuers came upon the man's remains about three-quarters of the way up the White Cross Trail at approximately 1:00 p.m.

"This is certainly a tragic event," said Bill Gegas, the South/Seacoast Regional Supervisor for the NH Division of Parks and Recreation in Concord. "We're grateful that it's over and no one else was harmed.”

The victim's name is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin. No further information is available at this time.

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