UPDATED: Police find body of missing Monkton hiker
MONKTON — An intensive search through the night for a Monkton man reported missing Thursday evening ended tragically early Friday morning when authorities found the man dead near a swamp.
Vermont State Police said the circumstances around the death of Ralph Meader, 65, did not appear to be suspicious, though their investigation was continuing.
Police said Meader was dropped off for a nature walk on the east side of Bristol Road near Church Street in Monkton on Thursday, May 3, and was expected back by 5:15 p.m.
At 6:29 p.m. the New Haven state police barracks was notified that Meader was overdue.
Troopers responded immediately, according to a press release from Det. Sgt. Robert Patten and Lt. Gary Genova. They also notified the Monkton Fire Department and Vermont Fish and Wildlife personnel at 6:40 p.m.
Emergency responders continued searching the area and called for additional resources, including seven members from VSP Search and Rescue, approximately 30 members from Monkton and Bristol fire departments, approximately 10 members of Upper Valley Search and Rescue, four canines from New England K9 Search and Rescue, and two Fish and Wildlife wardens.
After searching through the night, a New England K9 Search and Rescue unit located Meader deceased in the water at approximately 4:38 a.m. Friday morning. Meader was found approximately 50 feet from the shoreline in a swamp off the east side of the Bristol Road.
Members from the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigations responded to the scene to investigate the death. Meader’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
Patten and Genova expressed their appreciation for the assistance from the Monkton Fire Department, Bristol Fire Department, Vermont Fish & Wildlife, New England K9 Search and Rescue, and Upper Valley Search and Rescue.
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