Authorities have found the body of a missing Kansas man who spent weeks trapped in the wreckage of his car and spent his last days writing handwritten notes dedicated to his family. The missing Kansas man was identified as 54-year-old David Welch who disappeared on September 2 from his home in Kansas without a trace and police didn’t find his body until October 18, in a remote area of Utah more than 800 miles away, according to an Oct. 30 L.A. Times report.
It was announced that Welch probably fell asleep while he was driving, which caused his car to become trapped in the ravine after it veered off a road in Utah. Police aren’t exactly sure how long Welch survived his injuries, but according to a tweet from his widow, he probably lingered for days before dying.
Authorities revealed that the missing Kansas man died from injuries sustained from the wreck, but have not explained the nature of his injuries.
Welch’s car was not visible to motorists on the interstate, but a hiker who was walking along a remote path was the one who noticed the scene of the accident on Oct. 18. The Utah Highway Patrol recovered the body of the missing Kansas man, along with handwritten notes for his wife and adult children, trapped inside his badly damaged minivan at the bottom of a 50-foot ravine.
The content of the letters has not been made public. The Welch family declined to comment and the Utah Highway Patrol will not share what they described as “very personal.”
“Dave was entrapped in the vehicle down the 80-foot ravine,” his wife, Kelly, tweeted. “He wrote each of us a love note. He knew he was dying and there was no way out.”
The discovery of the body of the missing Kansas man put a tragic end to the difficult weeks for Welch’s family which began in early Sept. after his family reported his disappearance from his home in Manhattan, Kansas.
The family said Welch, a retired salesman, left in his 2000 Pontiac Montana without informing anyone where he was going. In the following days, police combed the area several times but found nothing. Welch was included in the national database for missing persons. As the days passed, the family struggled because they had no idea what happened.
Welch’s family placed signs around town regarding his sudden disappearance and opened a page on Facebook to draw attention to the search for the missing Kansas man. In an effort to locate Welch, his family created a Facebook page titled “Find Dave Welch,” in which they asked people to drive two extra blocks each day.
The coroner has not yet determined the cause of death and it took more than six weeks to find out what had happened, and the why is still a mystery.