Crime

Remains Found Near Ronan Believed to Be Missing Lake County Man

Allen Ray disappeared on Aug. 1 while berry picking near Swartz Lake; body found at base of Mission Mountains southeast of Ronan

By Andy Viano

The decomposed body recovered by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday is believed to be that of a 74-year-old man who went missing this summer.

Detectives with the sheriff’s office responded to an area southeast of Ronan and found human remains about 75 yards east of an irrigation canal paralleling the base of the Mission Mountains. The body has been transported to the Montana State Crime Lab for identification and to determine a cause of death.

In a press release issued Tuesday, Lake County Sheriff Don Bell wrote that his office believes the body will be identified as Allen Ray, who was reported missing on Aug. 1 after he was separated from a group of friends while berry picking near Swartz Lake. An exhaustive search and law enforcement investigation ensued but Ray was never discovered.

Bell wrote that authorities believe they have found Ray’s body because of the proximity of the area where the discovery was made to Swartz Lake, and due to “facts noted by investigators at the scene.” Foul play is not suspected.

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