DEC Forest Ranger Lt. Brain Dubay and NYSP Lt. Scott Heggelke address the media Nov. 30, about an hour before the discovery of Russ Beede.
A three-day search for a missing Lake Placid hunter found him dead about 1/2-mile from where he had parked his truck on the Adirondack Loj Road.
The search for 63-year-old Russ Beede ended at around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, when searchers found the body in a rugged, densely wooded area, according to New York State Police Lt. Scott Heggelke.
Heggelke said that the autopsy on Beede was scheduled to be performed later in the day Thursday, Dec. 1, and there would be an official release into the findings of the investigation once that was completed.
The search for Beede started on Monday, Nov. 28, with involvement from the State Police, Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers and trained search volunteers, along with assistance from the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department and the Adirondack Mountain Club.
DEC Lt. Brian Dubay oversaw the search for the forest rangers and said they conducted a Level 3 search of the region around the Adirondak Loj and South Meadows.
“We are going slow, and we are being efficient,” he said, adding that Beede was possibly wearing clothes that could have hampered the search.
“We also believe that he was wearing hunter’s camouflage,” Dubay said. “If you have seen some of the camouflage that hunters now have, it is some pretty impressive stuff.”
At the time of the discovery, Dubay said that there were about 30 to 35 trained volunteers along with 15 rangers and seven members of the NYSP Special Operations Response Team. A helicopter had also been involved in the search Nov. 30 but was grounded due to poor weather conditions in the afternoon.
DEC forest rangers and State Police held a joint press conference about the search at 1 p.m. Nov. 30, and at 4:20 p.m. DEC spokesman David Winchell announced that Beede had been found around 2:30 p.m.
Once discovered, the matter was completely handed over the NYSP for further investigation.
At the press conference, Russ Beede’s daughter, Amanda, spoke with reporters, telling them that she was hoping for the best but had thought about the fact that her father may not return home alive.
“I want my dad,” Amanda Beede said. “I’m not ready for him to go yet. I hope that they find him upright.
“If they don’t find him alive, then he’s where he wanted to be and where he wanted to go, in the woods, hopefully peacefully,” she added.
Amanda said that her father was “no stranger to the woods” and that he favored hunting in South Meadows area.
Amanda and her mother, Linda, who works as a dispatcher at the New York State Police Troop B headquarters in Ray Brook, were involved in the search.
“We are making sure that the family members are teamed with a trained search volunteer,” Dubay said.
Russ Beede was last seen on Saturday morning, Nov. 26. It was believed that he was preparing to go hunting on state land off the Adirondack Loj Road.
Beede’s vehicle was located near the gate into the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Adirondak Loj property at the southern end of the road.
DEC forest rangers oversaw the ground search of the area since Monday. They were joined by NYS SORT team members, volunteers from Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK), Central Adirondacks Search and Rescue (CASAR), Lower Adirondacks Search and Rescue (LASAR), Team 5-1 Search and Rescue, the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department, and the Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department.
K9 Units from the DEC Environmental Conservation Police and State Police, and search dogs from Champlain Valley Search and Rescue, were also part of the search effort, along with a helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit.