An autopsy was conducted Tuesday on an Illinois man found dead at a backcountry campsite in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A bear was euthanized for scavenging on his remains.
Park officials said Patrick Madura, 43, of Elgin, Illinois, had a backcountry reservation for a multi-night trip. He was scheduled to stay at campsite 82, where his remains were found, on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Hikers discovered his body on Friday, September 11, 2020.
Madura's reservation was for only one person, and rangers found only one tent and sleeping bag at the campsite.
His body was taken to the North Carolina office of the Chief Medical Examiner, located in Raleigh. Park officials said it could take several weeks to months to get the results.
When the rangers came to investigate Madura's death, they euthanized the black bear that was scavenging his remains, because they don't want the animals to associate people with food.
Officials have not released the cause of Madura's death.
Though black bears are very common in the Smokies, an attack on humans is very rare.
43 years old
Foul Play Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
Suspected Suicide: Unknown / Undisclosed
Found on September 11, 2020 - 285 days, 20 hours, 20 minutes ago
This case file was posted on
Mar 17, 2021 at 12:37
This case file was last modified on
Apr 03, 2021 at 21:23
This case file has been assigned the Missing Persons ID 917
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