Missing Appalachian Trail hiker's body found
Search crews have found what they believe to be the body of an Appalachian Trail hiker who had been missing for more than two weeks, according to a press release from the Vermont State Police.
Police consider the death of Robert Kerker, 67, of Rhinebeck, New York, to be related to the heavy rains and severe flooding that hit Vermont around the time of his disappearance.
Kerker's body was found along the Stony Bridge in Stockbridge on Friday afternoon. Search crews had focused on the brook because someone reported seeing Kerker at the Stony Brook Shelter on the Appalachian Trail the evening of July 9.
"The witness said severe rain and flooding that struck Vermont starting July 10 had elevated water levels on the Stony Brook and made the trail’s crossing of the stream dangerous," police said in a press release. "Mr. Kerker is not known to have been seen again following that encounter."
Kerker was an experienced hiker, police said, and had been traveling on the Appalachian Trail since June 1.
Police consider Kerker to be the second death in Vermont tied to the severe flooding, pending an autopsy to find the cause and manner of death and a determination by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A Barre City man — Stephen Davoll, 63 — died as a result of a drowning accident in his home July 12.
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