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Body of Seymour man found in Cedar Gap Conservation Area

Investigation still ongoing; more than 200 searchers worked the difficult terrain before family and friends made discovery


The body of a missing Seymour man was discovered in the Cedar Gap Conservation Area in Wright County several days after he was first reported missing. The fate of Bradley Sanders, who was previously seen on Wednesday, Jan. 12, was discovered on Monday, Jan. 17, when his body was found in a remote area about a half-mile from the nearest trail.

Wright County Sheriff Sonny Byerley said there is an ongoing investigation.

Toxicology reports and an autopsy have been ordered to help law enforcement officials determine a cause of death.

“It’s a sad situation and my heart and my staff’s hearts goes out to that family and we pray they get some closure because the body has been found,” Sheriff Byerley noted. “…It was a recovery mission to go in there and retrieve the body and collect all of the evidence that we can find on scene and my detectives are bringing all of that data back in order to start looking at possible solutions as to what caused the death of this man.”

Sheriff Byerley said his office first received a call from the Seymour Police Department on Friday, Jan. 14 around 3 p.m. alerting them of the missing person, who was last known to have been in the conservation area two days earlier.

This led to a search team of nearly 200 people on Friday that included volunteers from four different counties, fire personnel from two counties as well as officers from Seymour, Mountain Grove, Mansfield, Hartville and the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

A big challenge for searchers, according to Sheriff Byerley, is that the area is “dense, heavily-wood with deep ravines and high hill tops.” The first search was called off at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 to regroup. Inclement weather led to Saturday’s later search being cut off.

Family members, friends and church family members continued their search efforts on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, many using horses to help with the challenging terrain. It was that group that made the discovery on Jan. 17.