RAY BROOK — New York State Forest Rangers located the body of missing Australian man Captain Paul John McKay, 33, On Wednesday, Jan. 15, ending a search effort that lasted nearly two weeks.
“This is not the outcome we hoped for,” village Police Chief Bruce Nason said at a press conference late Wednesday morning at the state police Troop B headquarters in Ray Brook.
The body was located near the summit of Scarface Mountain around 11 a.m on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the town of North Elba.
Paul McKay press conference
Village of Saranac Lake Police, NYS Police and DEC announce the recover of Australian Paul McKay Jan. 16.
Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw authorized the removal of the body that was then transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake by New York State Police Aviation.
McKay had been reported missing Jan. 3 by his family in Australia after his father received an email leading him to believe he was not returning.
Officials received a report from an eye witness that McKay was last seen carrying a large backpack and heading east near railroad tracks on the border of Ray Brook and Saranac Lake around noon on New Year’s Eve.
Expanding they’re original search area covering areas around the Northville Placid Trail, Seymour Mountain and Scarface Mountain, search and rescue teams still came up with nothing.
Due to the fluctuation in temperatures, officials were not able to see any tracks left by Mckay.
Also, because of very dense cover, the body was not visible from the aerial search nor by Rangers who had been on the summit of Scarface Mountain on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Rangers returned to the area Wednesday and Forest Ranger Scott VanLaer found Mckay’s body approximately 500 feet from the trail just below the summit of Scarface Mountain.
McKay was serving as a captain in the Australian military where he had spent 10 months stationed in Afghanistan until January 2012. He reportedly suffered from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of his time served.