Body at Sky Meadow ID’d as U.S. Army sergeant
Search teams recovered a Fairfax man's body near Sky Meadows State Park in Fauquier County Friday after a three-day search. Richard Jonathan Kutch, 32, of Fairfax, a U.S. Army sergeant stationed in the Washington D.C. metro area, died from self-inflicted wounds on the Appalachian trail.
Police started a search Wednesday after authorities discovered Kutch’s vehicle in the park Monday afternoon, according to a release from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Faced with the prospect of searching a 1,864-acre state park for the missing man, the sheriff's deputies called for backup.
The sheriff's office joined the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia State Police, Stafford County Sheriff’s Search Team, Spotsylvania County Sherriff’s Department, the Appalachian Search and Rescue Council and the Shenandoah Mountain Rescue group in the search for Kutch.
“It was quite an undertaking,” Hartman said. “On Thursday alone, 93 people had checked in to assist us with the search.”
Tracking dogs discovered the Kutch's body Friday afternoon in an area near the Appalachian Trail near the park’s northwest boundary. Kutch died of "self-inflicted means," Hartman said.
Hartman praised the efforts of the law officers and volunteers who helped with the search. The tracking dogs were instrumental in finding the man, he said.
“You can't place a value on something like that,” Hartman said. “[the trackers] are truly dedicated to what they do. If it wasn't for the search and rescue dogs and their handlers, we probably wouldn't have found this person in the time we did.”
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