An outdoorsman strolling by way of the woods within the Missouri Ozarks final week stumbled upon a stunning discover: what seemed to be a skeletal determine. The person had been looking the wooded space for deer antlers however as a substitute solved a two-year thriller that had been haunting the city of Branson.
On Monday, a forensic pathologist confirmed the stays have been these of David Koenig, a blended martial arts fighter who vanished in early 2020.
Koenig was an novice fighter whose household lived within the Ozark group. Family members turned apprehensive about him after he disappeared on Feb. 8, 2020, and reported him lacking that March.
As reported by Ozarks First, his mom, Tracy Koenig, organized searches, spoke with media, and moderated the 14,000-member Fb group Mystery of the Missing Fighter! within the continued efforts to search out her son.
On the time of his disappearance, she advised the Springfield News-Leader that he had been dwelling at a motel, the Peach Tree Inn, which was close to a freeway attraction strip. He had despatched textual content messages on the evening he vanished asking for assist, the Branson Tri-Lakes News.
Family members advised the newspaper that Koenig was recognized to go “off the grid” for lengthy intervals, however as his disappearance stretched into weeks, then months, they feared the worst.
“[T]he longer time passes, the window of hope will get smaller,” Tracy Koenig posted in October after he’d been lacking for 20 months. “20 months of our lives on standstill… 20 months with out his loopy laughter and the sound of his voice… and 20 lengthy months of nightmares, tears and frustration. We want solutions however largely we simply want David house with us.”
In a statement launched Monday, the Branson Police Division mentioned that after Koenig was reported lacking, officers organized a multi-state search throughout Missouri and Arkansas utilizing volunteer search events, excavations, and cadaver canines.
Koenig was lastly discovered alongside Fall Creek Street, a wooded space in Branson that’s reduce by way of by a creek. Police mentioned that although they’d but to find out a reason for demise, it didn’t appear that Koenig had died by any trauma or foul play. The assertion added that investigators performed an intensive search of the world and located extra of Koenig’s stays and some of his private gadgets.
“He was not shot, stabbed, no damaged bones of any kind,” Tracy Koenig wrote to the Fb group on Monday. “He wasn’t robbed, as his tattered pockets was nonetheless intact in addition to the 2 silver necklaces he at all times wor[e] amongst another issues. All of the rumors have been FALSE! No person killed Dave. No person! He left the Peachtree on foot and by no means made it house. Why he was in misery, and why he walked by way of the deep woods… we more than likely won’t ever know.”
She described her son to Ozarks First as “an unbelievable particular person… Actually bigger than life. Not simply bodily, however in every thing about him. He was an enormous, stunning, mild big with a coronary heart of gold.”
On Fb, she thanked members of the Mystery of the Missing Fighter! group for “going above and past and serving to us to bodily seek for Dave, assist pay for billboards and personal investigators, sharing my posts, calling in ideas, handing out flyers all around the nation.”
Assistant Chief Eric Schmitt of the Branson Police mentioned, per KY3, that it was not the result anybody hoped for.
“To say that this case didn’t have an effect on anyone within the company can be a whole misstatement,” he mentioned. “It didn’t matter what investigation we have been on we have been asking about Dave.”