Since April 5th, when 76-year-old Dale Hunter went missing, Matthew McDaniel has been on Paris Mountain looking for Hunter. McDaniel would drive from Seneca every day and search for hours.
On Thursday, his efforts brought closure to Hunters’ family. He found Hunter’s body less than a mile from his home.
"It kind of stunned me at first. The first thing I saw was the belt. I saw it on the ground and it was shiny buckle on it."
He assumed it was Hunter’s body and called 911 immediately. Sgt. Ryan Flood with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office says the spot where Hunter’s body was located couldn’t even be seen from the air.
The terrain was too dangerous for deputies on foot, one of the reasons why they didn’t find the body during their initial search.
"That's nowhere near in particular that our search teams would have gone to without a roping system to be honest,” said Sgt. Flood, “It was that dangerous. It's that steep of a ravine where he was located. About at least a 30 minute walk down into the woods. You look down and it's nothing but air."
Sgt. Flood says his deputies are thankful to McDaniel and his efforts to bring Hunter's family closure, despite the sad ending.
"It's another prime example of how law enforcement can work together with the community to solve these things,” Said Sgt. Flood. “To find missing people and we're extremely grateful to him."
McDaniel took Hunter's family to the spot where he found him Thursday.
"It was very peaceful,” explained McDaniel. “We sat around and enjoyed the water. Where he was at, there was a falls right next to that. Peaceful by the falls."
Kent Dill, Greenville County Coroner, finished his initial autopsy Friday morning but is awaiting results from several tests before releasing a cause of death.
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