Monday, October 14, 2013

Missing Hiker’s Death Ruled Suicide

1236210_540529906015377_9994447_nA Massachusetts hiker who vanished in early September hanged himself in the Dix Mountain Wilderness, according to State Police.

Scott Haworth, forty-six, of Chicopee was discovered by hikers about 4 p.m. Saturday about a quarter-mile from the Round Pond trailhead on Route 73 in Keene. He was about three hundred feet off the trail.

Haworth, an experienced hiker, was last seen on September 5 at Valley Grocery in Keene Valley. His car was later found at the Round Pond Trail parking area. An extensive search of the area and various trails by forest rangers and State Police had failed to locate Haworth.

An autopsy was conducted today by Dr. C. Francis Varga, who determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation from hanging.  The death has been ruled a suicide.

Click here to read a news story about the search.

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Phil Brown

Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.




17 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Sad ending. I wonder if they used any dogs in the search? They probably could have gotten wind of him if he was that close to the trail (300 feet).

  2. Phil Brown Phil Brown says:

    He was discovered by hikers. I am told they had dogs.

    • Bill Ott says:

      Phil,
      Would this have any impact on the Colin Gillis search?
      Bill Ott

      • John Gillis says:

        The only parallel here is the fact that someone other than searchers found the missing man. That’s why we’ve once again asked hunters and others enjoying the outdoors to keep an eye out for clues, and report them to State Police. Items of interest would be an orange and black backpack, red and black reversible down jacket, red sneakers. Thanks.

  3. ZeroProfit says:

    C’mon park police, this guy was only 1/4 mile off the trailhead. I know where that area is and I’m shocked the troopers/rangers didn’t look. Or, not shocked that they didn’t look hard enough. I guess they just didn’t take his disappearance seriously enough.

    • At the time I’m replying to this comment it has two likes. Who are these two likers?

      Does the original commenter know anything about:

      Adirondack terrain
      The conditions under which the body was found
      How search and rescue is performed in wilderness
      Who conducted the search
      How many volunteers were involved
      How many days the search was undertaken
      The character, commitment, dedication of the searchers
      That we don’t use the term “Park Police” here
      Any of the DEC Rangers personally

      No. The answer to all is self-evidently no. That qualifies the commenter to disparage the searchers, that’s for sure.

      And as for the two likers? No comment.

      • George says:

        I know one Ranger, out of many, many searchers, who spent countless days looking

        No group is more capable, dedicated and caring than the Ranger force

        Well said Pete

      • Paul says:

        Pete, there is no rhyme or reason for any of those thumbs. Except on yours above!

    • Scott van Laer scott says:

      Your comments are completely erroneous and very hurtful too many, many people who dedicated their time to finding Scott. There is no search that is 100 percent effective with the kind of terrain and understory we have. He was missing for a long time. Conditions changed considerablly during the search that effected his detectability. You should cnsider deleating your comment.

  4. Chris Denno says:

    Sad story..sad for Mr. Haworth and his family and also sad for the hikers who found him. I can’t imagine how disturbing finding a body must be….

  5. doug haight says:

    If you have ever tried to locate a dead deer in the woods you might understand better. Also the leaves are nearly gone …you can see a great deal farther through the woods.

  6. Avon says:

    I think that if a hiker tries to make himself difficult to find, the search process is going to be very different – and infinitely more difficult.

    It’s a waste of breath for either the defenders or the disparagers of our rescue teams to argue about finding a suicide who obviously didn’t want to be seen.

    My sympathies go to the rescuers who expended great time and effort in doing what they thought would be a good thing, while the lost hiker himself was trying to make their efforts futile. That has gotta be a real discouraging possibility ever to have to keep in mind for the future. The fact that they can move on and do their job anyway is a tribute to them. Let’s all move on likewise.

    • Paul says:

      Either way it was and is a good thing what these folks were doing. Knowing what happened to a loved one (even when it ends badly) is better than never knowing what happened. I feel terrible for folks that have to go to bed at night not knowing what might have happened to someone they care about. What a nightmare.

  7. Nicole says:

    That Hiker was my brother. I appreciate that the searchers while doing their job understood that he was a human being, who had a family and friends who loved him dearly and prayed for his safe return. No less value then someone w is lost, he was depressed and may not have wanted to be found, his family was hoping he would be found before he chose to end his life. We appreciate all they did to try to find him.

  8. gameslug2000 says:

    Nicole, I am an avid hiker of the Adirondacks and know that when the trees are full of leaves, things are hidden better. I am so sorry that your brother did this to himself and his family. By reading the paper articles and watching the news I got the idea that he did not want to be found. Depression is a very real and life threatening thing. It sounded like he was a good man and loved hiking the mountains. Always remember that his choice was not yours and you couldn’t do anything about it to stop him. When a depressed person decides they just cant take living any further, they don’t tell anyone just for that reason. He didn’t want any of your family to carry the burden of knowing his plans and feeling that you didn’t do enough to convince him differently. In his own mind he knew what he wanted to do and since he loved the mountains & outdoors, he decided to end the misery in his mind, at a place he felt totally at peace in. My prayers go out to you and the rest of your family members.

  9. Dan says:

    I am Scotts Brother. Scott loved anything to do with Hiking. He bagged most of the high peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire….and most of the higher peaks in Maine. He has an AMC certificate that he hiked all 46 peaks in NH. He didnt take hiking lightly…he loved all aspects of it and was the most happy when he was walking on the trail. Its “the real world” he often was in conflict with.All the games and coldness that is “the real world”, most certainly didnt agree with him. Scott never drank,never did drugs…never once smoked. He was also a lifelong drummer and in many bands over the years…loved music. Scott was his own man in every way shape and form. I miss him terribly. Fortunately…we had a lot of good times together…especially in our teens and 20s.I just want to say thank you to all the 1st responders, NY troopers, Helicopter pilots, rangers, trail volunteers or anyone else who was involved in the search for Scott. We have Scott back now and slowly, by finding him we are having some form of closure now. Thanks for the kind comments here.

    Dan

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