BIG RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Authorities in Missouri confirm that a body found Sunday is that of a missing Big Rapids man.
Fred Byrne has been missing since February. He was last seen in Holland, but his vehicle was found in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri.
Sunday, a private rescue team found Byrne's body while training with canine teams. The Missouri Highway Patrol had alerted the team to train in that area because of previous searches there for Byrne.
Byrne's body was found about a quarter mile from where his car discovered in February. Authorities positively identified Byrne using dental records.
The autopsy shows no evidence of criminal activity. Formal autopsy results are pending.
Below is a message from Fred Byrne's family:
On Sunday, June 23rd a group of search and rescuers aided by dogs found the body of a man. It is believed to be the body of Fred Byrne who has been missing since 2/12/13. Fred's car was found on 2/13/13 not far from the location where the body was found.
BRDPS Detective Brian Miller met with Fred's wife and son on Sunday and they are now in Holland with family awaiting autopsy results. The autopsy is being performed today in Missouri.
Diana Byrne wishes to thank BRDPS for their kindness, compassion and professionalism and all other agencies, searchers, family, friends and many others who have reached out in support. Arrangements will be made for a celebration of life service and published in the Holland Sentinel and Big Rapids Pioneer.