The body of Seth Kilburn was discovered behind a private residence after a five day search by Lake Placid Police and surrounding emergency responders.
The five day search for missing Lake Placid man ended Friday morning with the discovery of his body, located within 1,000 feet of his possible destination.
The body, which police believe to be Seth Kilburn, 34, of Lake Placid, was discovered by the Lake Placid Police at about 10:04 a.m. as they performed a canvas search on McKinley Ave.
At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Lake Placid Police Chief Bill Moore said he believes Kilburn may have fallen down a 6-foot embankment while taking a short cut home through the woods.
The body was found at the back of a private residence at 77 McKinley Ave, near the tree-line. Moore said the body was basically in plain sight but could not be seen from the road.
Moore believes Kilburn was taking a shortcut back to his parent’s home on River Street through a path known to many locals and could have fallen. Moore said the path is easy enough to navigate by day but at night there are dramatic drops on either side of the path.
“I’m sure he took (the path) many times in his youth and at night if you take the path and veer slightly on either side there are drop offs in excess of 6-feet,” Moore said. “I think he got off his path slightly, and we believe the cause of death to be accidental.”
The path begins near Cummings Road and would have been a shortcut to Kilburn’s parent’s home on River Street, where he had been staying.
Kilburn’s body was less than 1,000 feet from his home.
At this point in the investigation, Moore said the police do not expect foul play to be a factor in his death.
Kilburn’s body has been sent to Adirondack Medical Center for an autopsy with Doctor. C. Francis Varga, Moore said the results of the autopsy will be released after the family has been notified.
Scene of Discovery
By Friday afternoon, sections of land behind the residents of 71 and 77 McKinley Ave were taped off with squad cars still on scene.
For Travis Hudson, who lived at the home next to where Kilburn was discovered, the experience was very unreal.
Hudson said two Sheriffs came to his home at around 10 a.m. and asked to enter the property on their search for Kilburn. After police searched his yard they moved to the next yard at 77 McKinley Ave. Hudson said once officers entered the lot it was only a short time later the yard was flooded with many more officers.
“I was just really shocked. This has never happened in this neighborhood and around here. Tt’s just shocking to think something like that can happen so close to home."
Hudson said one of the most shocking parts to him was that he and his neighbors had spent time in their yards over the past week and never discovered the body or thought it would be possible it could go unnoticed.
“Yesterday I was up picking berrys and I didn’t see him, but I wasn’t looking,” Hudson said.
Hudson said he had noticed a smell two days before Kilburn’s discovery.
“I thought it was an animal or trash cans but it really didn’t click until today,” Hudson said. “Shocking to be that close and yet have no idea.”
Community services came together
Moore said he wanted to thank the many people who helped aid the search efforts. He said on any day there were between 50 and 60, both paid and volunteer searches helping.
The week-long investigation was aided by the Lake Placid Police Department; State Police, both the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and uniform officers; Department of Environmental Conservation; Essex County Sherriffs; Saranac Lake Police; members of the Jay, AuSable, Keene, Saranac, and Wilmington Fire Departments; Saranac Rescue Squads; the Champlain Valley Search and Rescue Canine Unit; and members of the Lake Placid Community.