Ty Sauer missing poster

Ty Sauer last seen at mile 35 on Skyline Drive 

On Monday afternoon, search and rescue teams in the Shenandoah National Park discovered the body of a male believed to be Ty Sauer, a teenager from New Jersey who had been missing for several days. 

Sauer, 18, was last seen at mile 35 on Skyline Drive late on Thursday, April 22. Very little is known about why Sauer went missing. The National Park Service issued a Missing Person alert around noon on Friday and called upon state and local rescue management teams to begin a search. 

In collaboration with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, park officials closed several trails in the area of highest probability and deployed 14 teams of trained search and rescue personnel, including four canine units. Over the weekend park officials also arranged for a helicopter to conduct an aerial scan for Sauer using Forward-Looking Infrared technology. 

“Unfortunately the canopy [had] just filled in too much for that to give us much good information,” said Claire Comer, interpretive specialist at Shenandoah National Park. “It picked up animals and some of the searchers, but nothing that we were able to use really.”

At 6:06 p.m. on Monday, April 26, officials posted to the park’s Facebook page announcing the body had been found. “Based on a preliminary identification of remains found Monday, April 26, 2021, the search for Ty Sauer conducted by Shenandoah National Park with support from Virginia Department of Emergency Management has been suspended,” the post said. 

According to the park, the remains were found at 2:55 p.m. two miles away from where Sauer had last been seen and about 2.5 miles from the park’s eastern boundary with Rappahannock County. 

The remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas, Va. for positive identification and to determine the cause of death. 


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