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Print

Missing Shawnee Forest turkey hunter found dead

April 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM

Carmi Times

RUDEMENT — Joseph W. Thatcher, 62, of Wilmington was found dead April 12 after a 24-hour search for the missing turkey hunter.

Thatcher failed to meet up with his party earlier Wednesday.

Saline County Central Dispatch received a call of a lost turkey hunter shortly before 3 p.m. April 11.

Saline County Deputies and officers from the U.S. Forest Service began a search on top of Eagle Mountain near Stoneface at 3:30 p.m.

Search and Rescue dogs from the Ohio River Valley Search and Rescue from Evansville, Ind. arrived at 7 p.m.

They joined with deputies, forest service officers, Illinois Department of Conservation officers and Illinois State Police officers, to search for Thatcher.

Overnight listening posts were maintained in the forest area and search operations resumed at 7:30 a.m.April 12.

Search crews from Carrier Mills, New Burnside, Harrisburg Fire Departments, U.S. Forest Service, Illinois Department of Conservation, Saline County Sheriff’s Office and Saline County EMA assisted the Ohio Valley Search and Rescue teams.

Thatcher was located at 2 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene by the Saline County Coroner’s Office.

Saline County Coroner Jerry Watson is investigating the death of Mr. Thatcher, but preliminary results indicate that Thatcher died of natural causes.

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