Authorities say Vandalia man who ran into woods to hide died of hypothermia

2013-01-30T04:01:00Z 2013-01-30T05:38:10Z Authorities say Vandalia man who ran into woods to hide died of hypothermiaBy NICOLE HARBOUR - H&R Staff Writer Herald-Review.com
January 30, 2013 4:01 am  • 

VANDALIA — A 22-year-old Vandalia man who’d been reported missing early Sunday morning was found dead Monday morning.

Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen said Justin Wyatt’s body was discovered in a wooded area near county roads 800N and 300E.

An autopsy performed Monday night found Wyatt died of hypothermia.

The case remains under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.

“His brother found him between 11 and 11:30 a.m.,” Bowen said, adding that he pronounced Wyatt dead at 11:40 a.m. “His (Wyatt’s) mother was actually in the sheriff’s office Saturday morning and said he was missing but couldn’t file a missing person’s report until 2 a.m. Sunday.”

Bowen said Wyatt’s brother saw Wyatt run into the wooded area, which is near the home where the two brothers live, on Friday night, but never saw the 22-year-old run back out.

“His brother said sheriff’s deputies were looking for him (Wyatt) on Friday night and he ran into the woods to hide from them and never came out,” Bowen said.

Fayette County Sheriff Aaron Lay said law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff’s office, Fayette County Emergency Management Agency, Vandalia Fire Department, St. Elmo Fire Department and the Illinois State Police began looking for Wyatt on Saturday morning as part of an investigation.

Wyatt was still missing Sunday night, prompting the organization of a search party Monday morning.

“A search team was being organized that morning when his (Wyatt’s) brother found the body,” Bowen said.

nharbour@herald-review.com|421-7963

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