Crews recover decomposing body of missing hiker in Garfield County

Crews at the scene of a search and rescue operation in Garfield County, Utah, May 25, 2019 | File photo courtesy of Garfield County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The remains of a 72-year-old man missing for more than a month were found in Garfield County Tuesday.

The body of Norman Everett Applegate Jr., of Seaside Park, New Jersey, was recovered near Boulder by Garfield County Search and Rescue teams, according to a statement from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Applegate had been reported missing Sept. 26 after he left on a day hike and never returned.

While the preliminary investigation revealed no suspicious activity, authorities say, the cause of the man’s death is still under investigation.

Garfield County Sheriff James D. Perkins told St. George News there were obvious signs of injury to the body.

“We could tell he had injuries when we found him,” Perkins said. “But the body was in a state of decomposition, so we couldn’t really tell the exact nature of the injuries or how severe they were.”

“We are very happy to have located him and to give his family closure,” Perkins said.

The remains were transported to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner in Salt Lake City for autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Boulder — the town near which Applegate was found — is a community of approximately 240 people in Garfield County about 25 miles northeast of Escalante near the Utah Scenic Byway 12.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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