The nearly two-week search for a missing Australian soldier came to an end with Paul McKay being found dead. His body was located near the summit of Scarface Mountain in the Saranac Lake region.
"Scarface Mountain itself is very rugged and it has slides, so our volunteers and our rangers and everyone else who assisted us did a great job in the search effort based on the weather and the rugged terrain," said Capt. John Streiff of the N.Y. Forest Rangers.
Police say they found McKay wearing winter clothing, but he did not have any equipment with him that would provide shelter.
"Forest rangers assisted in the removal of the body with state police aviation," Streiff said.
McKay's body was flown by helicopter to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. Autopsy results show he died of a heart attack due to hypothermia. The medical examiner says his death was a suicide.
"Hopefully we're going to be able to come up with an answer of what happened up on the mountain, why he was there," N.Y. State Police Capt. John Tibbetts said.
Police say there are no signs of foul play and not much is known about McKay's personal history. But his family says the Afghanistan War vet suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"At this point we're not finding any reason why he chose to come to Saranac Lake and climb that mountain," Tibbetts said.
Police say they notified McKay's family of his death. We are unsure about details of the family coming to the U.S.
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