Body found on Appalachian Trail in Maryland

A body of a male was found Monday near Black Rock on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. A rock climber found the remains in Maryland’s South Mountain State Park and notified authorities at 3:45 p.m. Monday.

The body was so badly decomposed that investigators could not determine the cause of death or how long the body had been there, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson.

Thomson told the that some items were found with the individual, but she declined to say what they were until authorities make a positive identification of the male and talk to his family members.

Rescue officials initially thought they would use a helicopter to lift the body out of the area, but a helicopter crew said it wouldn’t be able to recover the body. So rescuers had to transport the body by hand while rigging safety lines and making their way over steep, rocky terrain.

To reach the area northeast of Boonsboro, Md., near the Appalachian Trail, rescuers had to make a 15-minute all-terrain vehicle ride, Thomson told They then had to hike for an hour uphill, and the final 150 yards to reach the body required climbing up a 45-degree-angle mountainside strewn with rocks, Thomson said.

Rescue crews were able to transport the body out of the area Tuesday afternoon. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore will conduct an autopsy.

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