The body of missing 18-year-old Levi Schneider has been found in the woods outside Marion, Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry confirmed on Thursday.
Schneider’s body has been taken to the State Crime Lab in Missoula for an autopsy, but Curry said evidence points to a possible suicide. That cannot be confirmed until autopsy results are available.
It’s a tragic turn to a confusing case, Curry said. Schneider was last seen on July 7, when his stepdad dropped him off at his grandparents’ house in Marion, according to an interview with Schneider’s father, Ray Schneider. Levi was not officially declared as a missing person until July 15. The sheriff’s office and search and rescue crews canvassed the area where he was last seen, using manpower, helicopters and dogs in the search. On Monday, the sheriff’s office reported that Schneider was spotted by family, alive in Kalispell. It looked to be a situation in which Schneider was not contacting his family, the sheriff said.
Curry said his office then pulled back search efforts, waiting to see Schneider in person before officially removing him from the missing persons’ list, but the sheriff considered the case solved.
But that sighting was apparently of another person named Levi who looked like Schneider, Curry said on Thursday, and the search was back on.
“It’s been moderately confusing,” Curry said of the case.
Based on the state of the body found in the area of Gopher Lane, it appeared that Schneider has been dead the whole time the search has taken place, Curry said. Schneider was found in an area that was relatively hidden, the sheriff said, and it appears the cause of death may have been a gunshot wound to the head.
The body was found by family, Curry said.
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