DIANA, N.Y. - Forest rangers recovered a body in a wooded area of Lewis County Tuesday morning that is believed to be that of a Cortland man who went missing five months ago, according to several media reports.
Kenneth McCall, 24, had been living in Cortland when he was reported missing in June, the Lewis County Sheriff's Department said. He was in the town of Diana--not far from his hometown of Lowville--to visit family members when he went missing. He was last seen walking with his girlfriend on Tidd Road at around 4 a.m., June 13.
Since McCall's sudden disappearance, friends and family have combed the town and surrounding areas in the hopes of locating him. A Facebook group called "Help Bring Kenny Home," which has over 1,000 members, was created to assist law enforcement in their search efforts.
On Monday afternoon, a hunter found a bag belonging to the missing man in a wooded area about three miles from where Kenneth McCall was reported missing, Arthur J. McCall, the father of the missing man, told the Watertown Daily Times. State forest rangers and members of the Lewis County Sheriff's Department located and recovered the body Tuesday morning.
While the sheriff's department hasn't publicly confirmed that the body is McCall, a state forest ranger told a local TV station that he strongly believes the body to be that of Kenneth McCall.
"Fairly quickly, we found some other evidence. More belongings of Mr. McCall. Ultimately this morning, we've located some remains, which we believe to be Mr. McCall's," Robert Cavanagh, DEC forest ranger captain, told WWNY TV in Lewis County.
In an interview with WNYY TV, Arthur J. McCall expressed frustration with how the Lewis County Sheriff's Department handled the search efforts.
"I questioned the sheriff's department, why they weren't searching up here, and they didn't think he could've gotten this far, but they weren't accurate on their timeline," he told the TV station.
The Lewis County Sheriff's Department is expected to confirm that the remains are McCall's after an autopsy is performed.