Missing man found dead in woods


DELAWARE WATER GAP, MONROE COUNTY (WOLF) -- It was a devastating evening for family and friends of a man from the Reeders area of Monroe County, who was missing for nearly a week.

The 32-year-old left his parents' house in Northampton County on a dirt bike on Monday night. We have more on the sad end to the fourth day of searching.

Crews were planning to wrap up their search a little bit early this evening after three long days on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Northeast Search and Rescue said the volunteers were exhausted and they did not want rescuers putting themselves in danger. Suddenly, they found what they were looking for around 5 p.m. on Saturday.

"His family loves him and misses him and we just want him home safe," says Kevin Woolf's sister Melissa Woolf.

Shortly after we talked with Melissa Woolf, a friend and I went toward the command post at the fire hall, but were not let in.

It turned out it was bad news, and other relatives had already heard it on the scanner: a body was found.

Police say Kevin Woolf was found in the woods, about 400 yards west of Route 611 and two miles north of National Park Drive.

Several police cars and emergency vehicles were stationed on Route 611 south of Delaware Water Gap, near the county line on the Upper Mount Bethel Township side.

As crews sawed through trees at a higher elevation on rocks up above the road, we were told a coroner and deputy were there.

The crews were apparently trying to get to and remove Mr. Woolf. The road was later shut down in the area around 7:30 p.m.

Melissa Woolf says it all started late Monday, when her dad, from the Mount Bethel area, got lost on the trails.

"My dad called me and I called my brother and asked him to come with his dirt bike and see if he could help me find him," says Melissa Woolf.

"When he left our house at midnight on Monday night, he was looking for my dad. He was going to go back through the trails and then head home, and he never made it," says Melissa Woolf.

Melissa says Kevin was on his dirt bike, which was found earlier this week along the Appalachian Trail.

"Last we saw, it was still there. It's in the national park land. They'll be removing it," says NESAR assistant chief Ken Porter.

"He was going to go over the trails from Camp Charles to Delaware Water Gap, like up by Poplar Valley Road," says Melissa Woolf.

Melissa's dad arrived home around 4 a.m. on Tuesday, but Kevin never returned, prompting a major four-day search.

"We've been working all the way along from Totts Gap all the way up to the point, not ignoring the rest of it, but we are checking this area," says Porter, indicating the ridge along the county line and the Appalachian Trail.

It was the same area near Mount Minsi where the search ended tonight.

"We have about a dozen canine teams on scene today. Yesterday we had 60 some people. I'm not sure today, I haven't had a chance to count them, but it's probably exceeded that," says Porter.

"Kevin is an avid dirt bike rider. He's been riding since he was about five years old, so he knows those trails really well. He has a heart of gold," says Melissa Woolf.

"He would do anything for anybody. He's got a lot of friends who care about him. His family loves him. He's got two nephews who are worried about him and sad," says Melissa Woolf.

The NESAR chief told firefighters they had been searching that same area with their cadaver dogs earlier in the week, but the wind may have been going in an unfavorable direction.

Crews were expected to be on the scene for at least a couple hours in that area.

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