Beede death ruled suicide

DEC Forest Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay points at a map of the Adirondack Loj region during a search last fall.

DEC Forest Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay points at a map of the Adirondack Loj region during a search last fall. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The autopsy of a Lake Placid man who was found dead Nov. 30 revealed that he was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In an autopsy performed by Dr. C. Francis Varga on Dec. 1, the results stated that Russ Beede, 63, of Lake Placid, had been killed by a gunshot wound that was from the gun he was carrying.

Beede was found on Wednesday, Nov. 30, was located deceased on the lower slopes of Mount Jo in the Adirondack Loj area, about one-half mile from where he had parked his truck on Saturday, Nov. 26, when authorities believed he had set out for a hunting trip.

Essex County Coroner Robert Huestis was on-scene and authorized the removal of the body from the forest, which was then taken to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

Beede’s daughter, Amanda, said during a Nov. 30 press conference that her father’s leaving for an extended hunting period without a partner or hunting party was unusual for the avid woodsman.

“This is not like him,” Amanda Beede said. “He would never go out hunting without someone else for an extended time. It’s not normal for him to do this.”

The search for Beede began on Monday, Nov. 28, when Beede was reported missing. Authorities, including the New York State Police and DEC Forest Rangers, located his truck near the Adirondack Mountain Club’s entrance on Adirondack Loj Road.

DEC spokesman David Winchell said that the discovery of Beede was made on their first sweep of the lower slopes of Mount Jo where he was found.

NYSP Lt. Scott Heggelke said that the area where Beede was found was a rugged, densely wooded area.

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.

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